Recycle for Rainforests!
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the Minnesota Zoo’s “Recycle for Rainforests” program goes to fund field conservation programs in Africa. Currently, funds from this program support the conservation efforts of the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project (GTAP) in the Republic of Congo (West Africa).
Grauer’s gorilla conservation in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the remaining forests that contain the endangered Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri). The park and the wildlife populations it supports have suffered greatly from the nearly two decades of armed conflict in the region. As a result, wildlife populations have decreased and continue to be under threat from human activities such artisanal mining, human settlement and invasion for farming.
In 2000, Kahuzi-Biega National Park became inundated with more than 10,000 people seeking to mine coltan, a valuable industrial mineral used to make capacitors for small electronics such as cell phones, laptop computers, and video game consoles. This led to massive hunting and other illegal activity in the park. Gorilla and elephant populations were devastated and the ecosystem was plundered.
The Minnesota Zoo’s Recycle for Rainforest program has been supporting conservation efforts of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. WCS has been supporting Kahuzi-Biega National Park since the 1950s in an effort to protect gorillas and other species that inhabit the park. Funds generated through Recycle for Rainforests are supporting patrols in the park to monitor wildlife populations and prevent illegal extractions of resources from the park.
An exciting finding of these patrols has been the discovery of gorillas in the lowland sector of the park. Although gorillas had previously lived in this portion of the park, there had been recent reports that the gorillas were no longer there. As a result of the sighting, a team of 12 people were deployed in the area to conduct more extensive surveys. The team sighted both gorillas and elephants, the latter having become very rare throughout the park because of poaching.
In addition to these patrols, this project also provides training to park rangers, including the use of GPS units, mapping software, data collection, and information management at the ranger stations. The project also engages in community outreach, to build better relationships between communities surrounding Kahuzi-Biega National Park and the park authorities.
This project is supported through the Ape TAG Conservation Initiative.
Ape and forest conservation in the Republic of Congo
Since its inception, Recycle for Rainforests has been supporting the conservation efforts of the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project (GTAP). GTAP’s mission is to improve the conservation outlook of both chimpanzees and gorillas through applied conservation research, enhanced protection of important ape populations and their habitats, and strengthening of local capacity to implement conservation programs.
GTAP works in a pristine rainforest within the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park and an adjacent forestry concession. These areas have long been considered a stronghold for central chimpanzees (endangered) and western lowland gorillas (critically endangered). However great apes in this region are threatened by alteration of their habitat, the pressures of commercial bushmeat hunting, and emergence of disease. Despite conservation efforts to create protected areas over the past decade, it has been estimated that ape populations will decrease by 80% due to a combination of hunting pressure and Ebola in the next 30 years.
More than half the areas in which western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and central chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) overlap in range is allocated to forestry concessions. Roads are being constructed in previously inaccessible tracts of intact forest, increasing hunting pressure. Logging transport routes now encircle the northern, eastern, and southern frontiers of the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park. Little is known about the specific effects of timber exploitation on great apes.
GTAP has deployed survey teams into the Kabo logging concession for the past eight years. These missions provide invaluable insights into the forestry process and impacts on wildlife, while also safeguarding wildlife in real-time. Team leaders are outfitted with satellite telephones to communicate any unlawful activities to local law enforcement agencies. This has resulted in immediate conservation action. Funding from the Minnesota Zoo’s “Recycle for Rainforests Program” helps support these survey teams.
GTAP also works to increase the capacity of Congolese nationals to implement conservation programs. Building the capacity of local forest managers and conservationists is crucial for protecting apes and their forest community long-term, but few wildlife management and scientific training opportunities are currently available in Congo. Funding from the Zoo’s recycling program also helps support these training efforts.
The Minnesota Zoo’s support for GTAP’s conservation efforts not only helps protect great apes and their rainforest home, but also the species that the Zoo exhibits in its Faces of the African Forest exhibit: colobus monkeys, de Brazza’s monkeys, red river hogs, hyrax, dwarf crocodiles, and fruit bats. Make a difference for this rainforest community by recycling your old cell phone(s) through the Minnesota Zoo.
Visit the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project’s website: www.congo-apes.org
MPC – environmental standards and privacy issues
MPC is an asset disposition services company, focusing on mitigation of environmental and data security risk. MPC works with companies nationwide on chain of custody platforms and enhancing transparency on environmental best practices. As an active member of the BAN e-Stewards Initiative, MPC participates in a global program to promote best practices in electronics recycling and eradicate eWaste dumping worldwide.
MPC maintains a strict and audited 100% zero-landfill policy and proudly hold R2, ISO:14001 and ISO:9001 certifications. All customer material is processed in the United States.
MPC is a NAID Member and provides Data Destruction in compliance with: HIPAA, FACTA, Gramm Leach Bliley, FERPA, FISMA, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), Patriot Act of 2002, Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, US Safe Harbor Provisions, FDA Security Regulations (21 C.F.R. part 11), PCI Data Security Standards.