Skip to main content

Democratic Republic of Congo: Primates

Volume 464: debated on Thursday 11 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the fate of rare mountain gorillas in the Virunga National Park. (156725)

Officials from our Embassy in Kinshasa lobbied the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Government in August on their duty and international obligations to protect all their wildlife., including mountain gorillas. We have also reminded the DRC authorities that wildlife populations bring sustainable development and economic benefits, especially for establishing a viable tourist industry. My hon. Friend the then Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the hon. Member for South Dorset (Jim Knight) lobbied the Congolese Minister of the Environment on the need to protect vulnerable species during his visit to DRC in 2005.

We are urging the DRC Government to do more to control the activities of the militia groups that are reportedly killing wild animals including gorillas in eastern DRC. We will continue to monitor the situation and raise with the DRC Government their duty to protect all forms of wildlife.