Sorry for the Silence.
But silence is not absence. Ashley just returned to Kinshasa after first landing in Kisangani and disbursing the tired teams to their respective homes for a few weeks of much needed rest.
He is now emptying notebooks into the computer so the information can be sent to John who has already started a second step in the analysis. The two will meet in a couple weeks with some other colleagues to work through what the numbers all mean. Is this important? – VERY.
A carved okapi watches quizzically as Ashley pounds in the data
How many bonobo are there in the TL2? How many elephant? How many okapi? There is enough information so we can begin to look at these numbers – begin to find out what more is needed – where are the holes, what areas in the TL2 river basins are likely to be most important? And what areas are most threatened by bushmeat hunting.
Bringing home a bush pig in Katopa. That’s a lot of meat.
Then back up the Lomami in August for a final marathon push to get the remaining information needed to fill the holes. At the end of the year we will again lay all the information on the table.
THEN WHAT? Information is only a first step. Then (and now as well) we have to move towards protection.
How do we do that? One thing is certain, to get a protected area that is believed in on the ground and not merely a piece of paper in a distant capital city means we need a lot of support and at all levels — we will need a lot of people pushing with us.