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WCS Congo blog | What We Do
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What We Do

Over the past 25 years WCS Congo has been the government’s principle conservation partner, assisting the Ministry of Forestry Economy and Sustainable Development (MEFDD) in managing wildlife and its habitat in several of the country’s national parks, reserves, and buffer zones. Within these sites WCS is developing and implementing actions for effective wildlife protection; community based natural resource management; ecological monitoring; scientific research; and environmental education.

Our approach is specifically tailored to each area we work in and its protection status to enable lasting conservation of these areas while improving the livelihoods of the communities surrounding them. Through this long-term commitment WCS has developed a profound understanding of the ecological and socio-political context for conservation in Congo, and has formed the strong relationships with government, private sector, and local community actors required to make conservation happen.

CHALLENGES

The Republic of Congo is facing a set of unique and expanding conservation challenges and threats, which vary from forest to savannah to coastline.

  • Forests: Poaching of elephants for ivory; the commercial bushmeat trade; deforestation and degradation due to expanding agriculture, infrastructure development and charcoal production; poorly managed extractive industry (mining, logging, oil); and pollution.
  • Savannahs: commercial bushmeat hunting; and encroachment into protected areas by agriculture, mining, and construction.
  • Coastline and Oceans: Overfishing; pollution and perturbations from the oil industry; and the targeted poaching of turtles.                                          

 FINDING SOLUTIONS

Within the Republic of Congo there is the opportunity to save some of the last remaining intact forest wildernesses on the planet. The country additionally encompasses several diverse and unique habitats housing specific assemblages of forest, savannah and marine species. To confront threats to these areas and conserve them, we are employing some core strategies:

  • Developing effective partnerships for terrestrial and marine protected area creation and management.
  • Assisting with the development of full-chain wildlife enforcement programs.
  • Encouraging sustainable landscape-scale planning and management.
  • Improving the livelihoods of local people.
  • Working with both government and international partners to mainstream green development strategies and approaches.
  • Employing innovative ideas to take conservation beyond the boundaries of protected areas, and tackling key conservation issues within urban areas.

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