Institute for Environmental Security
Advancing Global Environmental Security through
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|Great Lakes region of Africa|
|Matavén area -
|Congo Basin -
|Horn of Africa||Mekong River Basin|
Great Lakes region of Africa
The Great Lakes region in Africa is an area where tribal conflicts mix with the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, power struggles in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the control over land and valuable minerals, such as diamonds, tin, gold, coltan and the illegal trade in timber and protected species. The insecurity, caused by the presence of rebels, an ill-disciplined national Congolese army and a large number of displaced people, has dramatic humanitarian consequences.
Furthermore, the demographic situation leads to a continuously growing demand for land, firewood, charcoal and food, resulting in widespread environmental destruction (forest degradation, wildlife poaching, soil erosion, over-fishing and water pollution). This situation poses great dangers to the survival of man and nature in this region and can contribute to social unrest and instability.
The protection of mountain gorillas in the Virunga-Bwindi region, where Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo share their borders, brings the three countries together, by creating employment, income and basic health and education services for the local communities out of tourist revenues, creating incentives for co-operative protection.
The challenge now for these countries is to:
These countries have signed and ratified all the major environmental related conventions and they have recognized the crucial role environmental conservation plays in the rest of the economy and the improvement of civil society. What the countries need first is that potential and current donors also recognize the importance of long term environmental conservation and start funding those needs.
Most Recent Reports
NEW: Renewable Energy for Africa: an overview of nine potential technologies -
Mallika Nair - June 2009
Charcoal in the Mist:
an overview of environmental security issues and initiatives in the Central Albertine Rift - Eric van de Giessen - May 2008
Remote sensing and Mapping report
Mining, forest change and conflict in the Kivus - May 2008
- Environmental Security in Bwindi
Focus on Farmers - Dorien Korbee - April 2007 (PDF - 1343KB)
- Progress report 2006
Satellite-based Monitoring of Ecosystems - SarVision - April 2007 (PDF - 2700KB)
Maps and Resources
- IES Maps and Images
- Case Study Poster (PDF - 2.6MB) Contact us to request printed copies of this poster.
- Open 'Vision' Interactive Map Viewer for the Great Lakes region of Africa
This link opens a new window which will load the 'Vision' Map Viewer for the Great Lakes region of Africa.
- Ugandan farmers association: Bwindi AMAGARA
Concerning the Virunga-Bwindi Region updated June 2006 (PDF - 66KB)
Promoting Environmental Security and Poverty Alleviation in the Virunga-Bwindi region - Eric van de Giessen - September 2006 (PDF - 2595KB)
- Brochure en français
Promotion de la Sécurité Environnementale et Réduction de la Pauvreté dans la région de Virunga-Bwindi - Emile Rwigira - September 2006 (PDF - 805KB)
- EnviroSecurity Assessment
Promoting Environmental Security and Poverty Alleviation in Virunga-Bwindi - Jeanna Hyde Hecker - October 2005 (PDF - 413KB)
- Environmental Law Analysis
The Virunga Volcanoes and the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: Co-operation in the management of shared natural resources and the concept of Transboundary Protected Areas - Serge Bronkhorst - October 2005 (PDF - 309KB)
- Supplement to the Assessment
Peace Park amid Violence? - Eric van de Giessen - October 2005 (PDF - 575KB)
For more information on environmental security in the African Great Lakes region, please have a look at our selected list of Recommended Reading material.