Bonobo (Pan paniscus) Conservation Strategy 2012–2022

Yüklə 0,59 Mb.
Pdf görüntüsü
ölçüsü0,59 Mb.
1   ...   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   ...   27

23 Weak Stakeholder Commitment

Workshop participants identified two groups of provincial stakeholders: administrative authorities 

and local communities. In the case of administrative authorities, lack of motivation, inconsist-

ent application of the law, corruption and inadequate professionalism are caused in part by poor 

working conditions (salaries, resources), insufficient training, ethnicity/kinship loyalties, absence 

of monitoring, nonexistence of accountability and poor understanding of conservation problems.

In the case of local communities, weak commitment is more likely to be due to poverty, lack of 

subsistence alternatives, and poor understanding of the long-term consequences of failed con-

servation. In some areas there is still a legacy of giving bonobos or other Endangered species as 

special gifts to honour dignitaries. Logging

Workshop participants highlighted three types of logging: 

Artisanal: this is low-technology cutting and processing of trees (using chainsaws, axes and 

machetes) for domestic energy (firewood, charcoal) and timber for construction (planks, beams 

sawn by hand or chainsaw). Logs are typically felled and cut by pit-sawyers to transport in pieces, 

often in association with clearing for agricultural purposes. Given the low human densities in rural 

areas, this type of forest exploitation would conceivably have a very low impact in much of the 

bonobo's range. Rural populations harvest timber this way in forest areas owned under traditional 

law. According to a 2011 report, whilst there is a moratorium on new concessions, artisanal log-

ging permits have proliferated


. Theoretically these are for relatively small areas and to supply the 

national market; however, there are known cases where such permits have been abused to carry 

out industrial-scale logging.

Although no empirical data were available, the perception drawn from the workshop exercise (see 

Section 4.2) was that this activity is widespread (4.25 on a scale of 1–5) and corresponds to areas 

of human occupation. Since transport of logs requires road or river access, the overall impact of 

artisanal logging may decline with distance from access routes and human centres. The magni-

tude of the halo of deforestation around towns and cities is in direct proportion with the number 

of inhabitants.


Deforestation near the town of 

Djolu in 2004 © Takeshi Furuichi


Legal industrial logging: forest concessions have a significant impact on bonobos and their habi-

tat. The opening up of logging roads linked to the navigable river superhighway allows hunters to 

rapidly penetrate far into the forest. People settle along logging roads and their slash-and-burn 

agriculture intensifies forest fragmentation. Additionally, job opportunities created by the logging 

companies attract people seeking work into the forest, for direct employment with the logging 

companies, supply services and commerce. Immigration in turn stimulates local demand for forest 

products, particularly bushmeat. The recent lifting of the ban on extension of forest harvesting to 

industrial logging prompted Greenpeace International to write a letter to the World Bank Group 

denouncing its recommendation to officially lift the moratorium on the allocation of logging con-

cessions as soon as the technical criteria from the Presidential Decree 05/116 of 24 October 2005 

are considered to have been fulfilled



Illegal industrial logging: the well-known negative impacts of legal logging are even greater in the 

case of illegal logging, since legal dispositions (forest management plans, social responsibilities) 

are not respected. This can lead to excessive levels of timber extraction (quantity, quality, species), 

unplanned road networks, and little or no control over the activities of people living in the area 

(such as poaching and agriculture). Furthermore, illegal operators rely on bushmeat to feed their 


A juvenile male bonobo at 

Wamba © Takeshi Furuichi


personnel and poaching quickly becomes a commercial activity. However, to date there is no direct 

evidence of illegal industrial logging activity in the bonobo’s range. Mining and Petroleum (Oil and Gas)

In 1955–1956 oil exploration was at its pre-independence peak in DRC. Mining and oil extraction 

activities are not new to the bonobo landscape; deep drilling has taken place at four sites in the 

‘Cuvette Centrale’ of Equateur and Bandundu. In the past decade there has been a resumption 

of petroleum/oil industry activities within the bonobo's range, and in 2007, the DRC oil ministry 

committed to resume oil exploration activities in the territory of Dekese, south of SNP and north of 

the Lukenie River. A recent report shows that concessions have already been attributed in critical 

bonobo habitat (ICG 2012). Although prospection in the Central Basin is not yet allowed, the grant-

ing of an oil exploration permit in Virunga National Park (a World Heritage Site), sets a worrying 

precedent. Infrastructure

Paralleling the build-up of industrial natural resource extraction, large-scale infrastructure develop-

ment not only has a large impact in terms of environmental degradation and habitat fragmentation, 

but also plays a prominent role in facilitating the trafficking of bushmeat. Currently, infrastructure 

in DRC is virtually nonexistent. Most goods are transported by air. Although there are an estimated 

157,000 km of roads in the country, most of them are poorly maintained and there are no major 

paved roads connecting the regions of the country. The national road network is targeted for reha-

bilitation as part of the national development plan, and this will lead to an increase in settlements 

along the newly accessible roads. This could bring about a massive increase in the bushmeat trade 

and other forest products, particularly illegally-extracted timber. 

Though to date few projects have been undertaken across the whole country and none within 

the bonobo's range, the momentum shown by recently-signed development projects and those 

already underway signals a likely threat in the foreseeable future. A number of resources-for-infra-

structure deals have been signed (and more are expected) between the DRC government and 

investors from the natural resource sector. In September 2007, China signed its largest single deal 

in Africa with the DRC: a US$ 5 billion loan to develop infrastructure, mining, bioenergy, forestry 

and agriculture. This will provide an enormous road and rail network that is likely to facilitate move-

ment of bushmeat out of the central forest block to densely populated centres. Most prominently, 

the China Railways Engineering Company has launched a large-scale infrastructure programme, 

with no mention of Environmental and Social Impact Assessments for either the mining or infra-

structure components of this agreement. Insufficient Subsistence Alternatives

Poverty and a lack of economic alternatives trap local communities into subsistence livelihoods 

based on exploitation of natural resources. This exploitation, whether slash-and-burn agriculture, 

hunting or use of other NTFPs, tends to be unsustainable as few local communities have the tech-

nical and financial means to improve their practices or change their activities. Human Population Growth 

The annual human population growth rate in DRC is estimated at 2.6% (UNDP 2011), which leads 

to a doubling of the population every 35–40 years. In the context of widespread poverty and 

breakdown of state services, this growth intensifies the negative impacts on bonobo habitat due to 

deforestation, exploitation, and unsustainable use of natural resources. However, workshop partic-

ipants considered population growth to be an issue that they could not address within the frame-

work of this conservation strategy. Nonetheless, it is important to note that population growth is 

happening now and there seems to be nothing done to address this omnipotent and escalating 

threat, as all other factors are intensified by the human population increases. Commercial Agriculture

DRC is home to the world's second largest old growth tropical rainforest – an invaluable biodiver-

sity hotspot and a carbon sink. Old growth forests have become bargaining chips in global climate 

negotiations and the impact of REDD+ promises to intensify as demand for palm oil products 

Yüklə 0,59 Mb.

Dostları ilə paylaş:
1   ...   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   ...   27

Verilənlər bazası müəlliflik hüququ ilə müdafiə olunur © 2024
rəhbərliyinə müraciət

    Ana səhifə