Park-edge communities in Mikeno Sector – South of Virunga National Park (DRC) have pledged to double their conservation efforts to protect mountain gorillas against communicable diseases. The commitment was made during a training on mountain gorillas and communicable diseases. Organized by IGCP in partnership with Virunga National Park the training equipped the participants with knowledge on transmissible diseases (COVID-19 and
Ebola) and their impact on mountain gorillas.
“This training has opened my eyes to the reality that infectious diseases pose a big threat to mountain gorillas. As a person who gets into proximity with mountain gorillas, I promise to be more mindful of my actions including keeping a safe distance and properly always wearing my face mask” noted Jacques Katutu, a trainee.
First of its kind since the outbreak of COVID-19, Altor Musema, IGCP Country Coordinator in DRC acknowledges that the
training was a pool of knowledge and an essential tool to enforce
conservation inclusiveness among park-edge communities. “It
equipped the communities with the much-needed information to
protect mountain gorillas against disease” Altor adds.
A similar training was conducted in Rwanda for Volcanoes National Park staff and porters. It is the hope of IGCP that these actions will contribute to the protection, safety, and long survival of mountain gorillas.