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保護大猩猩 剛果暫停石油勘探

2011年03月24日
摘譯自2011年3月17日ENS剛果,金沙薩市報導;張桂芳編譯,蔡麗伶審校

在維龍加(Virunga)國家公園内的山地大猩猩。圖片來自:WWF。 剛果民主共和國政府決定暫緩在聯合國教科文組織(UNESCO)指定的世界遺產維龍加(Virunga)國家公園内進行石油勘探活動。園内住著一群瀕臨滅絕的山地大猩猩。

該國環境、自然保育和旅遊部部長荷西業頓多Endundo向全球環保界發出信函,澄清政府對公開交易的英國石油天然氣探勘公司,索科國際在維龍加國家公園内進行石油勘探的立場。

非洲最古老的國家公園,維龍加公園内居住著大約世界上僅存780隻中的200隻山地大猩猩,以及爲數不多的東部低地大猩猩。

業頓多發起一項所謂「全面、透明和兼容並蓄的」策略性環境評估,以提供剛果人民最佳方案。

他繼續表示,這項評估將有助於該部門決定:「哪些社會和經濟效益才能確實為該地區及其人民帶來發展。」並稱:「策略性環境評估將在公開援助數位捐助者的支持下進行。」

維龍加國家公園位於剛果民主共和國東部,佔地7,800平方公里。由剛果自然保育協會(ICCN)管理。

園内還有超過非洲任何其他保護區所擁有的哺乳動物、爬行動物和鳥類,以及從17,000多英尺高聳入雲的魯文佐裡山脈冰川,到濃密難測的森林、草原、河流和湖泊生態系統等極度多樣化的景觀。

據世界自然保育聯盟瀕危物種紅皮書(將山地大猩猩列爲瀕危物種),瀕危山地大猩猩園内除了面臨石油開發所帶來新的威脅,維龍加山地大猩猩亞群也因該地區十年多的戰爭和動蕩而飽受衝擊。

而目前面臨的威脅包括,民兵入侵,木柴砍伐和開闢耕地所引發的棲地破壞、非法放牧、非法木材採伐、非法狩獵,包括為捕捉其他哺乳動物,如羚羊而設置的陷阱,而導致大猩猩死亡或傷害。

2004年,園内15平方公里的面積因轉為農田遭毀林,最近為非法生產木炭,木材採伐更出現急劇增加的現象。

此外,從事非法寵物與野生動物肉品交易的盜獵行爲又有捲土重來的跡象。

Congolese Government Suspends Oil Exploration in Mountain Gorilla Park
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, March 17, 2011 (ENS)

The DR Congo government has put the brakes on oil exploration activities in Virunga National Park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site inhabited by some the last endangered mountain gorillas in the world.

Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism Jose E.B. Endundo, issued a letter to the worldwide conservation community clarifying the government's position on the published intentions of a publicly-traded British oil company, Soco International, to undertake oil exploration in Virunga National Park.

Africa's oldest national park, Virunga is inhabited by approximately 200 of the world's last 780 mountain gorillas as well as a small population of eastern lowland gorillas.

Endundo initiated what he called "a comprehensive, transparent and inclusive" Strategic Environmental Assessment to analyze the best options available to the Congolese people.
The assessment will provide recommendations to the ministry, which will decide "which of the social and economic benefits will ensure true development for the region and its people," said Endundo, adding, "The SEA will be conducted with support from a number of donors of public aid."

Virunga National Park lies in eastern DR Congo and covers 7,800 square kilometers. The park is managed by the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature-ICCN the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature.

It contains more species of mammals, reptiles and birds than any other protected area in Africa and has an exceptional diversity of landscapes stretching from the glaciers of the Ruwenzori Mountains, at over 17,000 feet, to impenetrable forests, savannas, rivers, and lake ecosystems.

In addition to the new threat of oil development in the park, the Virunga subpopulation of mountain gorillas has already suffered numerous impacts from more than a decade of war and instability in the region, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in its Red List of Threatened Species, which classes mountain gorillas as Endangered.

Existing threats include incursions by militia, habitat destruction for firewood and farmland, illegal cattle grazing, illegal timber extraction, and illegal hunting, including snares set for other mammals such as antelope that can injure or kill gorillas.

In 2004, 15 square kilometers of the park was deforested for conversion to farmland, and recently there has been a sharp increase in timber extraction for the illegal production of charcoal.

There has also been a resurgence of poaching for the illegal pet trade and bushmeat.

全文及圖片詳見:ENS報導