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Launch of Transboundary Conservation Programme
Protection of mountain gorillas brings African countries together
20 February 2008
Rwanda, Uganda and the DR Congo have launched a massive joint conservation programme in the Central Albertine Rift. An agreement was signed today in the Ugandan capital Kampala, signifying the official start of the joint transboundary conservation programme. This programme, embedded in a 10-year action plan, with a 30- year vision, aims at protecting the environment in the Central Albertine Rift, regardless of geographical boundaries.
Apart from better access to drinking water, people in the region will profit from increasing ecotourism in and around the transboundary Virunga-Bwindi region. This mountainous region is the habitat of the world?s last populations of mountain gorillas. The spectacular mountain gorilla tours are a major contributor to the tourism package of the three countries.
The development and implementation of the plan is sponsored by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A core secretariat is jointly established by the three respective states to foresee the implementation of the action plan, together with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The adopted programme recognizes the need to deal with interrelated problems - poverty, environmental degradation and insecurity - in a joint approach, as IES had advocated in recent years. The transboundary conservation programme combines nature conservation with poverty alleviation and conflict resolution, by stimulating park authorities in Rwanda, Uganda and the DR Congo to work more closely together.