Virunga Park: Didier Reynders meets the WWF

date: 22 May 2014

virunga

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders met Zach Abraham, Head Global Campaigns of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), who had returned from the Virunga Park in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He used this opportunity to stress the importance of preserving this UNESCO World Heritage Site, whose immense potential, in the context of a responsible and sustainable governance, would be crucial to the economic and social development of the populations of the region.

There are many threats, particularly that of chronic insecurity due to the continued presence of armed groups, attempts to begin oil exploration within the park boundaries. This would be disastrous for the fauna, among which the famous mountain gorilla and the unique ecosystem of the region.

The recent attack against the Director of the Park, Emmanuel de Merode, reminded us of the harsh reality of those threats. Several rangers of the park have already paid the price with their lives for this conservation. The courage of those teams needs to be emphasized.