ICCN DG welcomes decision to remove Salonga National Park from the List of World Heritage in Danger

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Kinshasa, July 24th,  2021 (CPA).- The director general of the Congolese Institute for the conservation of nature (ICCN), Dr Cosma Wilungula, greeted Thursday, July 22nd, during a press conference that he animated at the Botanical Garden of Kinshasa, the decision to withdraw from the list of world heritage in danger of the Salonga National Park.

For the Director General of ICCN, this decision sufficiently motivates the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to make greater efforts to respect and implement the recommendations and guidelines of the World Heritage Committee, in order to preserve the values exceptional universal of other goods which remain in danger.

« This withdrawal simply means that the Salonga National Park has regained its universal value which it had lost due to several facts, in particular the oil blocks which straddle this park in which all exploitation has been prohibited by the World Heritage Convention » , he said.

Responding to a question, he said that apart from these oil blocks which have contributed to the loss of the universal values ​​of the par rc, there is also governance, the mobilization of resources and means, which are the basis of degradation of protected areas or parks. Dr Wilungula also cited poaching which, for this case, wiped out forest elephants, Bonobo monkeys etc.

“It took a long process to achieve this positive result by putting in place several management mechanisms. For example: Operation Bonobo, with the establishment, with the support of the Congolese government with the support of elements of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), to be able to clean up poaching in this area. park ”, specified the director general of ICCN, before recalling that the national park of Salonga has the largest peat bog in the world which contains carbon dioxide imprisoned for hundreds of thousands of years. This is a major asset in the fight against climate change and there is a need to continue to protect these forests.

ICCN calls for the abolition of the interministerial decree of July 24th, 2020 relating to the setting of the rates of duties, taxes and fees to be collected in matters of flora and fauna

During the press conference, ICCN, through its Director General, pleaded for the abolition of the interministerial decree of July 24, 2020 relating to the setting of the rates of duties, taxes and fees to be collected on the initiative. of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development (EDD), in terms of flora and fauna.

According to him, the said decree removes ICCN’s mission to ensure the protection of protected areas, and at the same time authorizes, in the open air, poaching in its provisions. Dr Wilungula took the opportunity to inform the public of the arrest of the DRC’s biggest poacher belonging to a rebel « Mai-Mai » group, a certain Jackson. The latter, he said, is being held in the Ndolo military prison in Kinshasa, awaiting trial. ACP/Fng/nig