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Democratic Republic of Congo: Poaching

Volume 687: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assistance they have offered to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to assist wildlife wardens to prevent poaching of wildlife.[HL506]

Wildlife wardens in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) work in difficult and dangerous conditions to combat poaching. My honourable friend the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Jim Knight, discussed these challenges when he met wardens in Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega parks during his 2005 visit to the DRC.

The biggest threat to wardens, and the wildlife that they are working to protect, comes from armed poachers and from the various foreign and Congolese militia groups operating in remote parts of the DRC. The UK continues to support the UN peacekeeping force, which is working with the new Congolese army to tackle the foreign armed groups. We are also supporting the reform and training of the new Congolese army by providing £3 million for basic life needs support, such as tents and water. This will help to stop Congolese soldiers and militias preying on civilians, wardens and wildlife.