The Chief Executive Officer of The Jane Goodall Institute Australia (JGIA), James Forbes, joins fellow conservationists worldwide to condemn the vile killing of 13 employees of the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN), plus four civilians, near the headquarters of the Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo last week.
“As with Tchimpounga and Gombe, The Virunga National Park has faced increasing emergency pressures due to the global crisis of COVID-19 to maintain their conservation and protection of mountain gorillas. This appalling attack sees staff pay the ultimate, heaviest price,” said Forbes.
“All of us at the Jane Goodall Institute family, pay the deepest homage and respect to these heroes for nature that dedicated their lives to the protection of animals. We share our deepest thoughts, prayers and condolences to their grieving families, friends and colleagues during this horrible tragedy. In these unstable times, the risks to our wildlife sanctuaries are higher than ever, as the measures to protect animals from COVID-19 can also increase the risk to poaching.
“Now, more than ever, we will continue to support and strengthen all staff at our sanctuaries and reserves, to ensure the highest protection from all threats during this critical era – for both people and our closest living wild relatives.”