14 October 2014
Head of MONUSCO: International actors need to do more to preserve national resources and biodiversity of Garamba National Park
During a visit to the Garamba National Park, top UN official Mr. Martin Kobler, who heads the UN Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), urged national and international actors to step up efforts in preserving the natural resources and rich biodiversity of the park located in the north-eastern part of the country.
‘Armed group activity is eastern DRC is largely funded by the proceeds from illegal trade and trafficking of the country’s rich natural resources’, said Mr. Kobler. Poaching has in recent years greatly depleted the wildlife population in the Garamba National Park. And despite intensified anti-poaching efforts, more than 60 elephants have been killed in the park only since April 2014, according to park management. The main perpetrators are armed groups, of which most important is the Lord’s Resistance Army, Mr. Kobler said, calling for a more sustainable and concerted effort to eliminate the threat of armed groups and their illegal economic activities.
Increased protection of the park will not only save endangered animal species, but also ensure a secure environment for the local population, according to Mr. Kobler. He also commended the efforts of park rangers and other actors who protect the national park.