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Young mountain gorilla in the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. Photo © Juan Pablo Moreiras, FFI
The International Gorilla Protection Programme is a coalition of three international conservation organisations Fauna and Flora, WWF and the African Wildlife Foundation. Their aim is to protect the remaining 700 mountain Gorillas in the Central Albertine Rift area (Rwanda, Democratic Republic Congo, and Uganda) one of the most densely populated in Africa.The project Restore UK supports protects the Gorillas shrinking indigenous habitats within th enational parks by providing the local communities with an alternative source of wood for fuel and construction, and working with them to 'find new ways of reducing pressure on the forest resources'. Restore have helped support the project's work with communities who are planting fast-growing exotic tree species and native bamboo in carefully managed woodlots - reducing the need for illegal harvesting from within the national parks. This is crucial as bamboo is an important food staple for the gorillas. The forest itself has been boundary fenced to act as a physical barrier to illegal encroachment and this has been extremely successful in reducing human-wildlife conflict. The project is also encouraging sustainable livelihoods through the establishment of non-timber based livelihood strategies. Amongst these are beekeeping and curios making. The project is already attaining positive results with a recent increase in gorilla populations of around 17%http://www.restoreuk.org/projectsww.php?prj=185
We do not have the moral right to destroy this wonder of the natural world. We are at the very last tick of the clock. We have to take this opportunity and if we do not do something to protect these forests we have betrayed the generations that come after us.
Sir David Attenborough
Speech on Rainforests to Business Leaders, Mansion House, London, 2008