Ramsar and UNEP-GRASP documentary on Great Apes

11/12/2008

Oil and Gorillas?

A Ramsar and UNEP-GRASP Documentary Film on Great Apes, Extractive Industries in Petit Loango Ramsar Site in Gabon.

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat and the United Nation's Environment Programme - Great Apes Survival Project (UNEP/GRASP) have released a documentary that highlights the correlations that exist between the sustainable management of wetlands hosting great apes in a developing country confronted with oil exploration activities.

The film shows the example of a country that is trying to reconcile conservation and development concerns through participative management of a park which is both a great ape site and a Ramsar site. It also addresses the emerging environmental issues associated with extractive industries in Africa and their impacts on the wetlands and other natural resources of the continent. In addition to Petit Loango, the ecological character of the following Ramsar sites is threatened by extractive industries in Africa: i) Sudd Marshlands (oil, Sudan), ii) Lake Chad (oil, Chad), iii) Lake Albert (oil, Uganda), iv) Niger Mafou (iron, Guinea), v) Chatt Tboul (oil, Mauritania), vi) Langebaan (ore, South Africa), vii) Lake Natron (soda ash, Tanzania), viii) Basse vallée de l'Ouémé (sand, Benin), ix) Conkouati-Douli (oil, Congo-B), x) Lake Cayo and Lake Loufoualeba (potash, Congo-B), etc.

The film has officially been launched on the occasion of the Tenth Conference of the Parties of the Ramsar Convention on 27 October 2008, in Changwon, Korea, where a resolution on “wetlands and extractive industries” has been approved.

The documentary, which was shot in the Ramsar site of Petit Loango in Gabon, Central Africa, is available in both English and French.

A five-minute version of the film is available in English from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI9WBcPeSGU&feature=related, and in French from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U91j6rGk_o8.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Ramsar Secretariat at africa@ramsar.org if you’re interested in the full version.

Contacts: (UNEP) Melanie Virtue  Melanie.Virtue@unep.org and Matthew Woods Matthew.Woods@unep.org; (Ramsar) Abou Bamba bamba@ramsar.org 

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