more on world heritage sites (fwd)

(no name) ((no email))
Fri, 16 Dec 1994 11:00:02 EDT

Thanks, Bonnie, for posting that important information. I'd like to make
a comment on Parc National des Virunga.

It is worthwhile to note that long bevore Rwandan refugees started to
flow in large numbers over the border, and long before the increased
threat to the gorilla population in the southern section of the park,
much of the rest of the park was already trashed. I have worked
extensively in the northern section of the park with many colleagues, and
the word we started to get from there starting a couple of years ago was
grim. The largest concentration in the world of hippos, at Ishango, was
largely killed off. Herds of bovids, and many other animals were also
being shot on a regular basis.

These problems stem from the political troubles in Zaire, which in turn
stem from the particular approach taken by Mobutu Sese Seko, Zaire's
"president" (read "dictator"). The army has essentially run amok, and
was or is apparently using the wild herds in PNV as their own herds of
cattle, poaching the animals and seling the meat. Also, we have heard
that people are actually moving into some parts of the park and farming

This all began before the Rwandan problem blew up. It is good to see
this announcement, but very frustrating to see that only when a) the
press gets interested in a particular part of the world because it passes
some threshold, and b) "key" species (in conservation) are threatened,
that notice is taken!



Greg Laden
Department of Anthropology
Harvard University
11 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge MA 02138