UNEP Study Confirms DR Congo Biodiversity Under Threat
Kinshasa – A major Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment of the Democratic Republic of Congo by the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) confirms the country’s wealth of natural resources, but warns that 190 species – including critically endangered Mountain gorillas – are in peril, that the illegal bushmeat trade has devastated biodiversity, and that tropical rainforests are an untapped source of ecosystem revenue worth $900 million annually.
DR Congo possesses half of Africa’s forests and water resources and trillion dollar mineral reserves, and could become a powerhouse of African development provided multiple pressures on its natural resources are urgently addressed.
But the study, Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment of the Democratic Republic of Congo: Synthesis Report for Policy Makers, warns of alarming trends including increased deforestation, species depletion, heavy metal pollution and land degradation from mining, as well as an acute drinking water crisis that has left an estimated 51 million Congolese without access to potable water.
Download the report: [English] [French] (PDF, 5mb)
UN Offers ‘Green Economy’ Options to Offset Cost of Critical Orangutan Protection
Jakarta – Indonesia could balance conservation and development objectives – and potentially triple the economic benefits derived from key orangutan habitats– by adopting Green Economy initiatives, according to an 18-month study released today by theUnited Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) under its Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP).
Orangutans and the Economics of Sustainable Forest Management in Sumatra, which was produced at the request of the Republic of Indonesia, examines specific sites in Sumatra that host significant populations of critically endangered orangutans, and offers concrete sustainable land-use options.
Continue to Orangutan Report Website
GRASP Welcomes U.S. Government Decision to Review Chimpanzee Status
Nairobi – The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) welcomed the United States government’s recent announcement it will re-examine the conservation status of captive chimpanzees, a decision that could close a controversial loophole that many believe hindered attempts to protect the apes.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) stated on August 31 that it has initiated a review of whether captive chimpanzees should be “up-listed” from the current “threatened” status to “endangered.”
Although chimpanzees are classified as “endangered” in the wild – and some sub-species have dwindled to just a few hundred in select regions – the estimated 2,150 chimpanzees in the U.S. are regarded differently because they were once needed for bio-medical experiments.