African News Agency

Mathias Odiekila,
March 1, 2019

Kinshasa and Brazzaville signed, Friday in the capital of DR Congo, a
protocol of agreement anti-poaching in the binational landscape Lake
Tele-Lake Tumba (BILTLT), border zone between the Democratic Republic of
the Congo and the Republic of Congo, in the framework of the project
“Catalysis of Sustainable Forest Management at the Lake and Tumba Lake
Wetlands and Transboundary Sites”, also known as the Lac Tumba Lake Tele

This memorandum of understanding was signed by Kinshasa, by the Minister of
Environment and Sustainable Development, Samy Ambatobe, and by his
counterpart of the Forest Economy of the Republic of Congo, Rosalie
Matondo, in the presence of the director General of the Congolese Institute
(DR Congo) for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN), Cosmas Wilungula, and the
coordinator of this project Frederic Lambert Paco Bockanoza.

In his words of circumstance, the acting representative of the United
Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the DRC, Laurent Rudasingwa said that
“this Lake Tumba Lake Tele Project is first and foremost an instrument for
strengthening cooperation under the Central African Forests Commission
(COMIFAC), but also a powerful means by which both countries, with the

He recalled that the Lake Tumba Lake bi-national landscape is gaining more
and more importance with the existence of the peat bog deposit, one of the
largest in the world that amplifies the interest of the international
community in this area; it is very special ecologically.

The successful conclusion of the Lake Tumba Lake project will be a strong
signal to donors in terms of future funding for environmental and climate
change projects in the subregion, the UNDP representative said.

Earlier, Minister Rosalie Matondo of the Forest Economy of the Republic of
Congo stressed the historic nature of this agreement, before feeling that
the signing of the anti-poaching protocol agreement by the two countries
will generate interest among their respective technical and financial

However, the challenge of implementing this agreement lies in the ability
of governments in two countries to put in place a strategic anti-poaching
plan in response to various threats, including the destruction of the
country’s natural habitat as a result of logging, unsustainable livelihood
activities, hunting and fishing which are of alarming proportions because
of their commercial connotations.

To this end, this Memorandum of Understanding is intended to facilitate
cross-border conservation efforts.

It is recalled that the governments of two Congo have set up since 2015 the
project “Lake Lac Tumba Lac” aimed at ensuring the conservation of the
transboundary hydro-forest area of Lake TV in RC and Lake Tumba in the DRC.

The border area “Tele-Tumba” is located in the districts of Epena in the
Republic of Congo and Mbandaka in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Lake TV / Lake Tumba landscape is the largest rainforest and second largest
wetland in the world. It covers 126,440 km?, straddling the Republic of
Congo (RC, 54,001 km?) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, 72,439
km?). About 70% of the area is wet forest and grassland, seasonally
flooded, the rest being dry land and savannah.

This landscape plays a vital role in the climate and hydrology of the Congo
Basin, as well as in the management of water points both in Africa and
around the world. This landscape is all the more exceptional because it is
home to large densities of the three great primates of Africa (gorillas,
chimpanzees and bonobos).

Other species present in this landscape are forest elephants, hippos, 16
species of day monkeys and 7 species of duikers.

More than 350 bird species have been observed, including significant
populations of waterfowl. There are also Nile crocodiles, armored
crocodiles and broad-browed crocodiles.

The fish diversity is impressive with more than 80 species listed in the
DRC and 50 in the RC. Fish wildlife diversity is not only an indicator of
biodiversity, but the livelihood base of most communities.