I will soon put out a post with some of our most recent camera trap photos. This upcoming post will be of the good and the promising.
But here I will strike a brief note with the bad and broken promises of 2012 that are still there to ring in the New Year. This a short post – no pictures – just to admit that the road to forest protection is not smooth, is not simple, in DR Congo.
Many are the conflicting interests in this country. They erupt in blood for no reason but greed. I am going to be honest: it has been a frustrating year. High-level corruption gives a Cheshire grin when we seek government assistance. We see the years of work by our colleagues wiped out in a strike of pecuniary aggression followed by almost no retribution. Fifteen okapi lovingly cared for these past decades all shot dead by a bandit in one morning, a park guard burned alive and the village forced to watch, the head warden of a park shot off his motorcycle as he returned to his post….(all of these events in the last six months), and just this last weekend a park guard eviscerated in the Ituri.
How and when can we be confident that we are making progress? This year we will concentrate on building collaboration at the most local levels. This year we will monitor closely the forest we know and care about. This year we will turn to other NGOs and organizations with similar goals – alliances are essential. I hope that next January our words will be more optimistic.