Maiko National Park Progress Report

Categories: Journal no. 49, Censuses, War, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega, Maiko, Grauer's Gorilla, Gorilla Journal

Taking notes at a gorilla nest in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park (© FZS)

Maiko National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo, lies in one of the most remote forest areas in the world. It is an incredible wilderness area, protecting biodiversity of national and international significance, including the Grauer's gorilla and the okapi. It has also been home to the Simba Mai Mai rebels for almost 50 years, and has played a significant role in DRC's political conflicts during that time. This area of tremendous natural value is therefore also very volatile and difficult to access. It receives few visitors and very little research.

By working with both the Congolese conservation authorities (ICCN - Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) and local stakeholders, including the Simba Mai Mai, FZS (Frankfurt Zoological Society) endeavours to support the management, monitoring and protection of the park. This entails the sustainable development of communities living around the park and the reintegration of the Simba Mai Mai rebels living within the park back into civil society. FZS recognizes the importance of a holistic support strategy in an area as challenging as Maiko and invest in a combination of scientific support, management support and socio-economic support to our partners. Both the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through the advice centre for non-governmental organisations working in the field of development cooperation (Bengo), and Berggorilla & Regenwald Direkthilfe have supported this FZS project in Maiko.