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.
Great progress has been made in the past year through a partnership between AWF and a local community in Botswana.
Late in 2002, AWF signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding with Sankuyo Tshwaragano Management Trust (STMT). STMT is a community trust located east of Moremi Game Reserve.
The Memorandum is facilitating collaboration for management of wildlife areas and conservation enterprises. This furthers our mission by linking local people with wildlife conservation efforts in their area that generate much-needed income for communities and individuals.
Gland, Switzerland, 18 November 2003 (IUCN-The World Conservation Union). The Seychelles, the Galapagos, Hawaii, the remote South Atlantic islands - all conjure up images of tropical paradise or rugged beauty. But beneath these islands' striking appeal lies a story of invasion and destruction that is undermining the future of thousands of native species.
On November 13th, at the "Conservation is Good Business" symposium in Washington, D.C., the President of Botswana, Festus Mogae embraced the concept of sustainable economic development as the only option that offers hope for struggling African countries.