There is greater biodiversity in Africa’s Albertine Rift region where Virunga National Park is located than in any other ecosystem in Africa. This richly diverse array of habitats is home to critical populations of the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas.
Well, the past two weeks have flown by, and Angel and I have been very busy completing the community surveys across the two sectors. It’s a large area so we have tried to ensure that we have covered as many people as possible, including trekking to communities on the Volcanoes National Park boundary and into outlying villages.
As we climbed out of Kigali on to one of the ridges leading north-west to the Volcanoes National Park area I was surprised to see the lush, green landscape spreading out across the ridges and valleys way into the distance. This landscape contrasted dramatically with northern Botswana where I have just spent three weeks—where it is dry, dusty and sandy with sparse vegetation except along the rivers.
International Women’s Day is a global day for celebrating the achievements of women, past, present, and future. It is also a day for highlighting the inequities and challenges which still need to be addressed regarding women’s involvement in all sectors of society.
Attacks on park staff, rangers, and scouts are always deeply disturbing to me. These true friends of wildlife and champions of conservation are on the frontlines securing parks, guarding wildlife, and protecting people living around wildlife.