Published February 22, 2008 09:41 AM
Borders will matter less to central Africa's mountain gorillas, following the launch of a strategic conservation plan and an associated project which covers adjoining areas of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There are only about 720 gorillas left in the tropical mountain forests shared by the three countries, the Central Albertine Rift Area Network. The gorillas' natural habitat is threatened by the destruction of these forests and the great apes themselves are victims of poachers.
Protected area authorities of the three countries launched their 10-year Transboundary Strategic Plan for the Central Albertine Rift Protected Area Network on 20 February 2008 in Kampala.
The project is part of the 10-year strategic plan developed by the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), the Office Rwandais du Tourisme et des Parcs Nationaux (ORTPN) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), and is supported by the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP). IGCP is a coalition of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), and Fauna & Flora International (FFI). The project secretariat is to be hosted by IGCP.