Improving Security in the Bili-Uélé Protected Area Complex

Timeframe: 2023 - 2024
Country/Region: Bili-Uélé Protected Area Complex, Democratic Republic of Congo
Partner: African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)

The Bili-Uélé Protected Area Complex is the largest protected areas system in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The region harbours several globally threatened mammal species including forest elephants and Eastern chimpanzees. Despite its importance, recent reports suggest wildlife populations are declining rapidly due to the increasing pressure from bushmeat trade, habitat loss, artisanal mining and poaching.

African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is working closely with the Institut Congolais pour Conservation de la Nature (ICCN – the Congolese national park authority) to provide ICCN with technical assistance to halt biodiversity loss in two key landscapes – the Maringa-Lopori-Wamba and Bili-Uélé Protected Area Complex – while promoting sustainable livelihood practices in line with the development aspirations of the Congolese people.

With the support from Fondation Segré, AWF is working to address illegal mining, a source of rapid habitat degradation and a contributor to poaching in many parts of the landscape. This project will support the construction of a basic security infrastructure to control road access to the Bili-Uélé Protected Area Complex and help enhance security in the area. At the same time, the project will develop ICCN operational capacity to manage checkpoints and sensitize community members about the new restrictions on access to the landscape.