Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio has contributed two million dollars to a fund to protect Virunga National Park in Congo from threats such as terrorism, the coronavirus and poaching.
Virunga National Park, six rangers killed while protecting gorillas
Five Virunga National Park rangers and a driver fell victim to an ambush while patrolling the most important wildlife sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
170 rangers have been killed over the past 20 years in Virunga National Park, a UNESCO heritage site in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and home to some of the last mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). It seems like a war bulletin, but it’s a silent war fought far from our eyes but on which the survival of these huge and beautiful animals depends. On 9 April the park witnessed the worst attack to date that killed five rangers and a driver, aged between 22 and 30, in an ambush. Another ranger survived but was severely wounded.
Rangers risk their life for gorillas
Rangers and other staff members at the Park, led by director Emmanuel de Mérode, risk their life every day to protect mountain gorillas and the precious biodiversity of the nature reserve from poachers’ attacks. “We are profoundly saddened by the loss of our colleagues,” said de Mérode. “Virunga has lost some extraordinarily brave rangers who were deeply committed to working in service of their communities. It is unacceptable that Virunga’s rangers continue to pay the highest price in defence of our common heritage”.
Who is behind the attack
The park’s wardens believe the attack was organised by Mai Mai people’s militias. Indeed, many outside the park dislike what rangers do at Virunga, from rebel armed group and poachers to people in the coal industry. Poaching and terrorism are closely linked and the profits from illegal wildlife hunting often need to finance armed groups’ activities.
Quest'opera è distribuita con Licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 4.0 Internazionale.
Mountain gorillas survive in just two places on Earth. The tale of a unique encounter and how to contribute to these animals’ conservation.
The world’s second largest rainforest, in Central Africa’s Congo Basin, is disappearing at alarming rates due to severe deforestation. The underlying reasons are to be found widespread poverty in the region.
The government of Tanzania is currently planning to evict more than 80.000 indigenous Maasai people from their ancenstral land
A new UNU-INWEH report on the global bottled water industry reveals the massive scale of this market and the lack of strict quality controls.
Isatou Ceesay founded a social enterprise that is helping to fight plastic pollution and empowering women and young people to gain economic independence.
A silent war is going on in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, killing the last endangered mountain gorillas and rangers who try to protect them.
A causa della caccia e della guerra civile in Congo questa specie è ora classificata “in pericolo critico” dalla Lista rossa della Iucn.
The documentary that tells the life in the Congolese park of Virunga has been presented at Tribeca Film Festival 2014.