Throughout the week, IGCP has kept in touch with our partners throughout Mikeno sector including Virunga National Park staff, partner NGOs, and community organizations we work with.
In an objective assessment of community conservation in the 20 years of the IGCP coalition, the authors wrote "The true value of community conservation is only likely to be realized under non-normal 'shock' conditions."
We are currently experiencing such conditions as normal operations by park management and conservation NGOs have been disrupted and parts of mountain gorilla habitat are left in the hands the communities that surround the park, and unfortunately the rebels. It is IGCP's hope that collective community conservation efforts during the peace of the last three years (and the many years prior) are yielding some protection to the mountain gorillas and their habitat during this resurgence in conflict.
We have also been monitoring the reporting of these non-normal conditions in the media. For those of you following along with us, here are some reports to watch and read. We also suggest Radio Okapi for reporting on the situation.
May 18 The Guardian, "Shades of the past as people flee fighting in Congo's Kivu provinces"
May 18 Al Jazeera English from Bunagana, DRC "Exclusive: DR Congo troops shell rebel bases"
May 17 Al Jazeera English, "Refugees flee DR Congo Fighting"
Anna serves as Communications Officer for IGCP. Originally from Iowa in the United States, she now calls the hills and volcanoes of the Greater Virunga region home. She is a conservationist at heart and by profession, and is thrilled to report on the amazing work of IGCP and partner organizations in the conservation of mountain gorillas.
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