AWF Hosts European Union Ambassador to Democratic Republic of the Congo in Bili Uele Landscape

Press Release

AWF Hosts European Union Ambassador to Democratic Republic of the Congo in Bili Uele Landscape

By AWF |

KINSHASA, DRC/ NAIROBI, KENYA/ WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 1, 2021) – The African Wildlife Foundation office in the Democratic Republic of Congo this week hosted the European Ambassador to the DRC, Mr Jean-Marc Châtaigner. Mr Châtaigner and his delegation assessed the effectiveness of the activities supported by the European Union's ECOFAC6 Programme in Bili Uele.

This program aims to improve conservation management and governance of the Bili Mbomu Core Conservation Area (BMCA) for the benefit of both wildlife and people. It is a collaboration between AWF and its partners l’Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), Maisha Consulting Ltd and Juristes pour le renforcement et l’application de la loi dans le secteur de l’environnement (JURISTRALE), and is being implemented over 50 months, starting on 23 January, 2018.

The EU delegation was received on Monday 29 March in Buta, the district headquarters, by AWF staff, partners, and government officials, including the vice governor of the Bas-Uélé Province, Jean-Fidèle Tengbuti.

The three-day visit was marked with meetings and site visits. The delegation took part in a simulated patrol by ICCN eco-guards, which was an opportunity for them to discover how patrols are carried out in the landscape, the materials used, the techniques employed and the challenges encountered. They also had a chance to get on motorbikes and visit the pilot fields developed by the USAID-supported Community Based Counter Wildlife Trafficking (CBCWT) project aimed at improving community livelihoods. The two programs represent a multi-pronged approach in managing natural resources in the landscape.

The Ambassador expressed admiration for the progress made in all the activities taking place in the landscape, notably the capacity building of the eco-guards, the fight against poaching, ecological monitoring, agricultural revival, participatory mapping, the revitalization of the Local Committees for Conservation and Development (CLCD) and the installation of radio stations.

"Although we are only at the beginning, what you have achieved so far reassures us about what is still to come. Certainly, a bright and coloRful future awaits the DCBU,” said Mr Châtaigner.

The EU delegation then traveled to Kinshasa on Thursday morning where they met AWF Chief Executive Officer Kaddu Sebunya and discussed the importance of African conservation leadership and ownership, as well as the role of biodiversity conservation in DRC for sustainable development. The meeting also touched on the importance of political leadership for conservation and how to create greater value for natural resources and ecosystem services.

“We value the kind of partnership and support that the EU has given us not just in DRC but across Africa. Working together, we have managed to deliver impactful projects that have improved natural resource management while also prioritizing the developmental needs of communities living adjacent to wildlife. AWF looks forward to many more years of cooperation and success,” said Sebunya.

About African Wildlife Foundation

The African Wildlife Foundation is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and wild lands as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science, and public policy, and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s wildlife and wild lands.

MEDIA CONTACTS: For more information, please contact Nashipae Orumoy of AWF in Nairobi, Kenya at NOrumoy@awf.org, +254 701864021, Patrick Mitchell of AWF in Washington, D.C. at PMitchell@awf.org, (202) 441-7647.