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Wildlife & Protected Areas

© naturepl.com / Jabruson / WWF

WWF works to protect the DRC's unique and diverse biodiversity and wildlife.

Wildlife

© naturepl.com/Jabruson/WWF-Canon

WWF-DRC is implementing a program aimed at addressing the issue of illegal wildlife trade. It focusses on combatting the illegal trafficking of ivory, great apes, bushmeat and live animals.

WWF-DRC will continue contributing to:

  • Supporting the consolidation and extension of our Protected Areas network covering representative ecosystems and priority species and habitats on at least 15% of the national territory
  • Supporting the adoption and implementation of Protected Areas management best practices in six Protected Areas  and showing improved effectiveness against the 2016 benchmark
  • Implementing an effective bio-monitoring system through national and international databases informing distribution, abundance, sizes and trends of the remaining national flagship species’ populations of elephants, bonobos, eastern chimpanzees, central Africa chimpanzees , eastern lowland gorillas and mountain gorillas 
  • Supporting adapted conservation stewardship approaches recognizing the role of communities in fighting against poaching
  • Support land tenure clarification of old plantations, mainly through partnerships
  • Promote sustainable commodity standards (cocoa, coffee, palm oil) and certification schemes into green economy investment plans at provincial and national levels by engaging with main stakeholders
  • Promote participatory land use planning for sustainable agricultural systems.
  • Advocating the closure of wildlife markets of protected species in strategic cities to interrupt international ivory trade and achieve zero poaching in three priority Protected Areas 
  • Supporting improvement of wildlife governance through the establishment and implementation of a Coordination Unit against Wildlife Crime (CUWC) and wildlife enforcement intelligence system and cross-border database to facilitate trans-boundary approaches, reducing trafficking and poaching by 30%
  • Influencing and supporting improved policies at the national and regional levels, and advocating for effective implementation in accordance with the DRC commitments towards the international community 
  • Developing mutually beneficial incentives for the co-existence of communities and flagship species and demonstrative systems for local community commitment and inclusion in conservation management plans.

Protected Areas

© Christian Mpassi / WWF-DRC

The network of protected areas in the DRC covers about 13% of the national territory. It consists of seven national parks, nature reserves, game reserves and other types of protected areas.

The DRC government has repeatedly expressed its wish to consolidate and expand protected areas to cover 17% of the national territory.

The main threats this will address are:

1. Unsustainable exploitation of natural resources
2. Shortfalls in coordinated land-use planning
3. Weak management capacity
4. Increased pressures arising from the global demand for raw materials

WWF’s strategic approach for managing protected areas will also help reduce poverty and contribute to national development goals.

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