Institute for Environmental Security
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IES Interactive Map on DRC now on-line
10 May 2010
The Institute for Environmental Security, in collaboration with MARIS, is pleased to announce the launch of its new Interactive Map Viewer ?Vision? on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). ?Vision? aims to inform decision makers on the state of play in specific areas in an interactive way. Fourth in a series of webGIS interfaces, the DRC interactive map viewer allows internet users to select any combination of data layers and satellite images in order to run a visual analysis without having any special GIS expertise or software.
The interface is produced in the framework of the IES Environmental Security Assessment (ESA) of the Ngiri ? Tumba ? Mai Ndombe wetland landscape. One of the assessment?s main objectives is to investigate threats to environmental security and formulate recommendations for preventing conflicts and alleviating poverty. Some of the main threats the Congo Basin is facing today include temporal and spatial expansion of forest concessions, poaching mainly associated with logging operations, overfishing, and illegal trafficking of natural resources.
The Environmental Security Assessment study carried out in the Ngiri ?Tumba - Mai Ndombe area by IES highlighted some key security issues, which may explain recent clashes and raise the potential risk for violent conflict: - Land tenure, exploitation rights, control and access to wetland resources are not guaranteed; - Pervasive poverty; - Weak state capacity, including impunity and lack of government authority; - Absence or inefficiency of controls in economic sector; - Political disorder and disputes at provincial level; - Presence of local and uncontrolled armed groups, including former soldiers of Mobutu and of the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC), and also poachers.
The Ngiri ? Tumba ? Mai Ndombe wetland has become the world?s largest wetland site of international importance, officially recognized by the Ramsar Convention in July 2008. Through the realisation of this interface, IES wants to keep a high level of attention on the situation in the DRC and encourage policy makers to respect their obligations regarding the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other international environmental agreements on poverty alleviation and conservation of vulnerable areas in the DRC.