Democratic Republic of Congo adds an exceptional new Site to the Ramsar List

The Democratic Republic of Congo has designated Bassin de la Lufira (the Lufira river basin) as its fourth Wetland of International Importance. With the addition of this vast and exceptional wetland area, the country joins a select group of Ramsar Contracting Parties – Bolivia, Canada, Chad, Congo and the Russian Federation – with over 100,000 square kilometres under Ramsar protection.

The Site (Ramsar Site no. 2318), in the south-east of the country, consists of rivers and their floodplains, natural and artificial lakes and ponds, waterfalls, papyrus and other marshes, and marshy forests. The main river feeding it is the Lufira.

The prevailing soil and climatic factors ensure the maintenance of the Site’s unique biological diversity. Many endemic species are present: 16 bird species including the Lufira masked weaver, the Upemba masked weaver and the black-faced waxbill; 15 reptile species including the Upemba mud turtle, the lined water snake and the Mulanje water snake; and at least two endemic amphibians, the Katanga thick-toed gecko and the frog Afrixalus upembae. The Lufira Basin remains the only biotope for rare mammals such as the Grant’s zebra and the greater kudu, and it is also home to populations of giant sable and roan antelope.

The lack of control and regulation of mining activities and the related hydrometallurgical treatment plants presents a real threat to the Site. Its designation was completed thanks to the financial and technical support of WWF-International.

More at: Ramsar

Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa

Congolese park ranger risks life to protect DRC’s threatened national parks, Rodrigue Katembo has been awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa for exposing illegal oil exploration in Virunga National Park.

(c) The Goldman Environmental Prize

 

Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo appointed Chief Warden of Upemba NP

ICCN Upemba

Katembo is well known from his exemplary work protecting Virunga National Park against oil exploration.

Congo Ranger ambushed and killed defending wildlife

Atamato Madrandele, Chief Warden of Upemba National Park, was ambushed and killed December 16, 2012 by Mai Mai militia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, reports the Upemba Conservation Project.

 

Tourism at the Kiubo Falls

The Kiubo Falls, on River Lufira on its way towards Lac Upemba and further on to River Lualaba, just beside the village of Musabira in the middle of Katanga, is a wonderful spot on Earth.

Creation of Upemba National Park

Upemba National Park was first established in 1939. As with much of the wildlife of the region, in contemporary times the park continues to be threatened by the activities of poachers, pollution, and the activities of refugees and militia.[1]