4 August 2021, Kinshasa – Greenpeace Africa supports the call of over a hundred local NGOs as well as the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) to immediately cancel a 24 July 2020 inter ministerial order legalizing the hunting of totally or partially protected species.

A legal investigation into the role of former Environment Minister Claude Nyamugabo and former Finance Minister José Sele Yalaghuli, signatories of this license to kill, must be launched urgently.

Mr. Nyamugabo reportedly told RFI that the measure was taken “with the aim of enabling the [Environment] Ministry to meet its budget allocations.”

According to the order, a mountain gorilla can be killed for $1,925, slaughtering a bonobo – whose DNA sequencing is 99% identical to that of humans – will cost you $2,885.

Although published last February, the existence of the order was revealed, curiously, only days after the decision by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to remove Salonga National Park from the list of World Heritage in danger. No doubt the committee’s initial decision – to keep Salonga on the list until the oil concessions there are canceled – was the right one.

Irène Wabiwa Betoko, head of the Congo Basin forest campaign for Greenpeace Africa remarks: “Mr. Nyamugabo has once again revealed the (barely) hidden face of the kleptocratic tendencies of certain Congolese authorities. Let’s not expect applause in Kunming at COP15 this October or in Glasgow at COP26 in November. Any applause there will be drowned out by the shooting of the protected species DRC is selling off for cash.

Contacts for interviews:

Raphaël Mavambu,
Media and Communication Consultant, Greenpeace Africa,
[email protected], +24381067943.

Irène Wabiwa Betoko,
International Project Leader, Congo Basin Forest a.i, Greenpeace Africa,
[email protected], +243976756102 .