CHICAGO, April 5, 2004 - For the first time, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) will hold a gala fundraising event in Chicago on May 6, 2004. The dinner and auction will take place at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Internationally acclaimed and award-winning wildlife filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert will share their personal experiences and breathtaking wildlife footage at the event, which will also include a silent and live auction. The event will also pay tribute to the legacy of the late Jeffrey R. Short, Jr., a Chicago native who served on the AWF board for more than 20 years.
A total of 27 game scouts, 10 from Mozambique and 17 from Zimbabwe participated in the activity. Trainees were drawn from existing CBNRM institutions in the two countries; Tchuma Tchato Program in Mozambique and CAMPFIRE Program in the Guruve District of Zimbabwe.
The activity is linked to the partnership role being played by these institutions in resource monitoring, anti-poaching, and the marking of wildlife movement corridors in the Heartland.
The visit which was done in conjunction with the Office of the Speaker of the National Assembly pulled in a total of 10 MPs from wildlife related areas, plus the Minister for Natural Resources and Environment and the Minister for Lands and Settlement in Kenya.
Today, there are 56 more mountain gorillas roaming the Virunga Volcanoes than in 1989, when the last census was carried out. That's a 17 percent increase over the 1989 estimated population of 324 individuals in this region. This growth is particularly notable, given that it occurred in the midst of intense political instability and the Rwandan genocide, which took the lives of more than 750,000 people.
The future of the bonobos and other species in the Congo Basin is looking brighter thanks to two milestones in conservation. Both the passing of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership Act and AWF's launch of its newest African Heartland in the Maringa/Lopori-Wamba landscape, promise hope for the wildlife of the Congo Basin. This news is particularly welcome to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as it emerges from five years of civil war.