tv Doc Film Deutsche Welle April 21, 2019 8:02am-8:31am CEST
the last gorillas of the room africa's oldest national park because of its immense riches it's also the most endangered. in april twenty twelve wolf once again flared up in north kivu in the eastern democratic republic of congo. a rebel group the m twenty three took control of the region including here in the park in. yet another episode in what's often been called the forgotten war in the country. it is claimed six million lives in twenty years. suddenly we heard shots. really ran away and heard the villagers being shot. they killed my husband and my parents along. with the treasures of the congo are
a curse. at the heart of the seemingly endless war other regions extensive resources it's forests lakes and soils are systematically plundered to finance the slaughter. to form where mining town euro is that dangerous. yes we could dar here and if we survive there's still the minerals from. what should be a blessing is a curse here in the virunga region its vast mineral wealth has plunged the population into extreme poverty. is it you get to be in the civil war is driven by economic reasons it. is closely intertwined with the illegal exploitation not natural resources. and the world's poorest have
to pay the price with this environmental destruction just because. a man who is the director of the national park he and his ranges want to break the vicious cycle of over exploitation and war. in the forests of room on mountain iraq angle they risk their lives to restore the last bond between humans and nature. is a jewel of nature it was founded in one nine hundred twenty five with the aim of protecting the mountain gorilla population but wolves and insurgencies are destroying the
region's ecosystem. by being. serious except i. doubt that dozens of groups who roam the park pose a permanent danger says a man who admitted. in the southern sector in the forest areas near the city of goma over a million people eat firewood. controlled timber production which is now done on an almost industrial scale. it's mainly the f.d.a. the democratic forces for the liberation of rwanda they are considered the perpetrators of the genocide that. then there are the regional my my militia groups north of here they are the main force behind illegal fishing they make a fortune with it. there is also the a.t.f.
nod to a ugandan rep or group that has murdered over one thousand civilians in the last year and a half. here in the middle of the danger zone so to speak in the last year they have been countless attacks we've lost five rangers here. is home to the headquarters of the park's southern sector which is where the guerrillas live. every time the rangers go patrol they risk confrontation with militias the six hundred rangers defend eight thousand square kilometers of forest three hundred kilometers from north to south an area about the size of. the fighting on two fronts not only do they have to drive the armed groups out of the park they also have to keep the local population out.
our mission is to protect the closest. we have chosen this work and we're ready to give our lives to save the mountain gorillas from extinction. many of our colleagues have died doing their jobs i tell my men to be proud of their work as rangers of park. that there if you're sick of the got that if. there. were. a coding to united nations estimates the virunga national park ranges are up against five to eight thousand heavily armed militia men and army of different rebel groups all with the same goal the illegal extraction over all materials. the ranges of the last line of defense protecting nature and often deadly position
. when the civil war was raging here there were dangers looking everywhere for the rangers. about one hundred forty of our men lost their lives protecting the ecosystem. it was a step. in fact in twenty years of civil war a total of one hundred and fifty rangers have been killed the highest bloodshed ever to occur in protecting in the nature is a the militias in the area where the guerrillas live mainly control the illegal timber trade and poaching. in light of the ten security situation in the new end of mcleod made a radical decision he has his ranges undergo combat training. it's not just well that's not just bogus it back six zero ok.
in the room nature conservation is more like a military operation. the ranges are trained by former belgian and french elite soltis. for the. twenty six year old record there are problems but at the moment the central sector is most affected. these are the militias facilities the heavily armored. humvee an army. here the recruiting new soldiers on. the park's technology has been upgraded so the area can be monitored more efficiently every yunis and every operation is coordinated in real time. in receipt illegal fishing on lake edward that generates an annual turnover of
around forty two million dollars africa shoving legal logging in the south of the park which is destroying more and more virgin forests geddes which has an annual turnover of thirty four million dollars or. three dollars forty now so lots of money is involved we're talking about over one hundred million dollars a year and enough to maintain these private armies she these come back to groups and militias who are responsible for the desolate situation in the eastern democratic republic of congo build yourself a second man who has less than a. lot of. the illegal trade in charcoal feeds the entire province of north kivu it's the feel of war. eleven million people depend on it some three hundred thousand tons are illegally produced here every year this is how the black gold is made.
ok you will see we lay a new fire to make charcoal. going to be longer. than i planned to not even first we cover it with leaves. and then see me tightly with mud. so that the leaves don't catch fire and not the wood should burn very slowly. well. dream v. we use it to buy salt clothes or oil we pay the school fees for the children. everything with money from the charcoal the mccollum. to say. my beautiful run we bring the cold sharks to the wholesale markets and saki and go home. when a failure of the overall. mccullough is transported to the cities by bicycle or on trucks steep population growth has led to soaring demand for charcoal.
in north kivu ninety seven percent of people live without electricity coal is their only source of energy. in goma the capital of north kivu the streets are black with sirte. this huge cold is run by cecile. like i'm allowed to. question my color because there's no electricity here in goma you have only one option. in goma and in the rest of congo. and a bunch of poor label everywhere heat and coke with macand. i begin to meet one of your frying meats or cooking beams a cone you need. help but coal is the only fuel source in our everyday lives rich
or poor we all depend on luck our. kind of female world must also has more than a million inhabitants who get three hundred fifty to two hundred truckloads of mccalla every day. there are virtually no hundred forty and two hundred bags on each truck comes out sucking the fat of the back of this and. that's thousands of the. old trees every day none of them from there in the park supposedly. can or from the national park is very rare in the past f.t.l. our militia soldiers supplied us with charcoal from virunga park. but if we get caught selling them accounted today we get to jail for years. but the fact is the illegal charcoal trade is impossible to control and it's
destroying the park. if it goes unchecked there will be no forests left in the eastern congo in less than ten years. that's why i parked iraq to a man who had enough odds top priority is to develop alternative energy sources. he wants to use the large rivers in the room to supply the province of north kivu with electricity a first hydroelectric power plant was completed last year in. fact if it never could be my temp is just the beginning so far the power plant has been producing thirteen megawatts but with a bit of luck we'll reach one hundred megawatts in five years that was to four hundred megawatts is twice as total energy production and twenty five times the amount of electricity currently supplying the city of goma. thank you get the point could make an enormous contribution to the energy supply and the problems. for me
to have been explicitly. says ok i will really nothing of it by building a new energy economy that doesn't depend on the legal exploitation of natural resources we're cutting off the source of money on groups that they don't have and secondly we offer alternative employment to the young men who would otherwise join these groups it's you know part of it i doubt me. an ambitious project for a region like north kivu the park is footing the twenty million dollar cost with money donated from foundations in many way a democrat believes it's worth it and argues that in the long term alternative energy will create up to one hundred thousand jobs. he wants to prove to the locals that protecting nature is more profitable than destroying it. more and more households throughout north kivu are now connected to the relative a power plant. but where they get their energy from is not necessarily the
population's first concern farmers are desperately looking for new arab land food has priority. conflicts on the edges of the conservation zone a multiplier. to the rumor has already lost tens of thousands of hectares of land here in rich farmers are challenging the current boundaries of the park. the we are a thousand metres away from the national park. but in other words the border of the park supposedly runs a thousand meters from the flood but it's moved five hundred metres closer. and now the locals in the park and ministration are arguing about it with all the populace a loss for the. beautiful animals and.
the environment must also be protected but not at the expense of the people who live here it's a big. national park conflict with interest it's the one of the emanuel demo trying to negotiate with the people his rangers have to protect the park but they must also understand that we will. leave some animals come out of the forest and destroy our fields so what about our interests. without. harvest if only there were at least development projects here if only areas were cleared for roads and fields and schools built for our children. or.
for the locals the national park means less income a congolese family can make one thousand dollars a year with one hectare of arable land they are one million hectares of protected land in there is a. the park administration is aware of the problem. don't put it to the many t.v. pretty easy to go for us to continue having these to relisten elephants the local population loses out on more than a billion dollars a year. that's a high price and it's not fair. it's a city nation peace deal but we have to find a solution of the caucus to survive. that's because in the end it's up to the locals and their point of view is understand the political appointee. and the families have to make a living somehow knew that they need a future. so if we want the park to continue we need an alternative that generates
at least a billion dollars a year. and we can't do that alone. it took for la fayette it to start. the park director has formed partnerships with public and private donors and investors the e.u. has awarded the room to park fifteen million euros. a large scale project called eco mccullough has also been launched to cultivate sustainable resources here on the edges of the protected area. fast growing eucalyptus trees have been planted on eleven thousand hectares of land in a project designed to conserve the forests in the reserve and also to help the locals. the premier is the project has two aspects first it converts the poverty of the local population to newly planted trees provide small farmers with an income
but the bizarre bit of plant the lead busy a miss you don't stick secondly the eco mccullough project three four station effort protects the people here from the threat of armed groups lurking in the jungle. to make you saw it here but. all money then money. it's much better to work on this plantation it's too dangerous in the park why does it one day and many women and young girls have to go there every day on the summer raid others even killed now and you know i know why our i've been spared that family to man i mean i'm lucky enough to manage this little piece of forrester to meet the new cup manda you know my cuts would make my karma and i can feed my family you know. but he was.
those who do not have their own plot of land continue to collect wood on the edge of the park. almost four million people live less than a day's walk from the room and they all help themselves a small bundle of brushwood provides what they need for daily survival. that i love that. i know it's forbidden to cut wood near the park what should i do . either that or i can't give my children anything to eat today. the brushwood earns me five hundred congolese francs and i buy sweet potatoes with it it's not much but everything else is too expensive for us. one
mini. bus ending in income this way puts the women in great danger thousands of armed men roam the reserve and here at the edge of the forest women are easy prey. you know god if you don't get my work that. we come here with fear in our hearts. and we work fast so we won't be raped. when they catch you rape you until my life is broken. he can't tell anyone you must live alone with your suffering. daily life is fraught with risk here in the ring. to locals the national park is both a vital resource and a looming threat. to. environmental
conservation is a constant challenge in the democratic republic of congo. the park rangers face a moral dilemma should they protect people. or nature. down to my sister if you don't go on the slopes of the wrong as volcanoes including in rwanda and uganda there are only eight hundred eighty mountain gorillas left and they need protection you just a petition to see they're threatened with extinction just eight hundred eighty mountain gorillas on our huge continent and only three countries congo uganda and rwanda to sit in on our feet down for the studied nickel. a little under.
now based on democracy population growth is threatening the grill is natural habitat. skill level just people here in need fertile farmland and the park is the only place where they can find it get it back. and back that's why they destroy the gorillas habitat they need fertile farmland. in fifty of. the silverback has become a symbol of the national parks struggle for survival. but the fight also takes
a heavy toll on the families of the one hundred fifty ranges killed in action just see these tragedies are often eclipsed by the plight of the gorillas. i'm funny my husband died in one thousand nine hundred ninety two. he was killed in the park working to protect the gorillas. while my husband died on january twenty second twenty sixteen. he was on duty in kabaddi hunting poachers. i do fear my husband was killed on patrol in for i'm going to park. to help the widows of the rangers who lost their lives the park set up a sewing business last september the women make seventy is for tourists.
come up to. the park built this little workshop for us because our men were killed in a service as i think. of . him anywhere to move out and his coworkers collect donations abroad in order to pay these families thirty dollars a month. each of these stars stands for a ranger who was killed you know every day every star lost to a ranger who died for the park. but i think it is but after my husband died i was completely destitute so the park or thora trees offered me help. now the park provides a livelihood for me and my family. my children can even go to the park so no
school for your charge what. if it's a passive called laxity we must accept that we are first and foremost at the service of the people who live in the surrounding area people that we don't succeed in sharing the resources of the park with them we have failed in our work and we have failed in our mission and i don't feel.