Salonga National Park Removed From UNESCO List

After 20 years Salonga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is removed from the “in danger” list of the World Heritage.

UNESCO praised the country’s conservation efforts and the government’s commitment to ban prospecting for oil in Salonga, the vast central African country’s largest public park.

A mission carried out jointly by IUCN and UNESCO in 2020 reported significant improvements in the site’s conservation, but recommended that any plan for extractive activities be permanently cancelled and a new management plan be finalised.

“Regular monitoring of the wild fauna shows that the bonobo (ape) populations remain stable within the territory despite past pressure, and that the forest elephant population is starting to come back,” the statement said.

Salonga is Africa’s largest protected rainforest and home to 40 percent of the Earth’s bonobo apes, along with several other endangered species.

Deep inside the Democratic Republic of Congo, Salonga National Park extends over 33,350km2, which makes it the largest forest national park in Africa and the second largest tropical forest park in the world. It was created in 1970 and classified as a World Heritage Site in 1984. Forest elephants, bonobos, bongos, giant pangolins, and the indigenous Congo peacock all call Salonga home. The Park harbors 51 species of mammals, 129 species of fish, and 223 species of birds.

A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance. The sites are judged to contain “cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity”.

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