New African Reserve Protects Bonobos, Stores Carbon
New African Reserve Protects Bonobos, Stores Carbon
by Alana Herro on November 26, 2007
World Watch Institute

Conservation groups and the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have announced the establishment of a new reserve to protect the endangered bonobo, a great ape found only in the DRC's vast tropical forests. 'This is a monumental step towards saving a significant portion of the world's second largest rainforest, of critical importance to the survival not only of humankind's closest great ape relative, the bonobo, but to all life on Earth given the increasing threat of climate change,' said Sally Jewell Coxe, president of the Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI), a partner in creating the new reserve.

The Sankuru Nature Reserve, at 11,803 square miles (30,569 square kilometers), is larger than the U.S. state of Massachusetts and lies in the heart of the Congo Basin, Africa's largest rainforest. The recent war in the DRC claimed some four million lives (more than any war since World War II) and severely affected the Sankuru region, creating a humanitarian crisis as well as serious environmental challenges. 'The people of Sankuru rely on the forest for every aspect of their livelihood. Helping them to develop economic alternatives to the bushmeat trade is one of the most urgent priorities,' said Coxe. Organized hunting in bonobo habitat to supply the commercial trade in monkey, antelope, and other wildlife meat amounts to what the Congolese Institute for Conservation of Nature terms 'ecocide.'

Please visit the website for the rest of the article.

Comments: 0