WASHINGTON Annette Lanjouw, director of the International Gorilla Conservation Program, received the first National Geographic Society/Buffett Award for Leadership in African Conservation. Lorivi Ole Moirana was also chosen for his successful conservation efforts in Africa.
Lanjouw is internationally recognized as a leading authority on the mountain gorilla. She has been instrumental in focusing attention on the gorilla's plight and in raising funds to ensure its survival. The focus of Lanjouw's work is conservation of the forest ecosystem that is the mountain gorilla's habitat.
Africa's vast new transfrontier "peace park"* is larger than the entire country of Switzerland. In fact, it's being called "the world's largest animal kingdom."
Encompassing more than 35,000 square kilometers (13,500 square miles), the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park extends into three countries; Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Until the beginning of the twentieth century, communities and wildlife in Africa coexisted in a fairly harmonious manner. Although people used wildlife to sustain themselves, species were not seriously threatened. The human population was small, and land remained abundant.
The Nyamuragira volcano, located 20 kilometers north of the town of Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is erupting. This eruption occurs only months after tens of thousands of people were evacuated from the region when an adjacent volcano destroyed much of Goma.
Local vulcanologist Dieudonne Wafula said ash and debris were being thrown hundreds of feet in to the air above the crater. The BBC reports that lava was flowing down both sides of the 3,000 metre high Mount Nyamuragira.
On July 16th the Acting USAID Mission Director, Mr. Roudolf Thomas, launched the Conservation of Afro-montane Forest and Mountain Gorillas in a Landscape Context project. The ceremony took place at the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) office in Kabale. It was attended by representatives from the local government, Uganda Wildlife Authority, community representatives, NGOs as well as staff from AWF and IGCP.
USAID has provided US$ 1.9 million for the three year project which will focus on the following objectives: