Viral Clip Raising Awareness About Odzala
The Odzala Project has launched a viral campaign with the aim of raising awareness about the second-largest rainforest in the world – located in the Congo Basin – with the aim of protecting its wildlife and creating jobs for the local communities.
A Lowland Gorilla cradles a young gorilla in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in South Kivu in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
The Odzala-Kokoua national park is the second-largest rainforest on Earth. Although it’s a massive 13,500km2, it is still only a tiny piece of Africa, but its impact on the health of the world is huge. The people of Odzala are important in the protection of the resource, and the Odzala project aims to assist them as they battle against the scourges of poaching and deforestation.
To help raise awareness about their plight, a clip showing a gorilla peeing on a policeman’s car has been released, hoping to inspire people to look a little further into the issue.
Another problem in the region is the illegal trade of animals, including the Great Apes, of which nearly 3,000 are stolen from the forests of Africa and South-East Asia every year. According to a recently-released report called ‘Stolen Apes: The Illicit Trade in Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Bonobos and Orangutans’ (links to PDF), at least 22,218 Great Apes have disappeared from the wild since 2005. Chimpanzees made up the majority of the number, and many were lost through trade, being killed during hunting, or dying while captive.
This issue, amongst others, will be addressed at the Conference on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which takes place in Bangkok, Thailand from March 3 to 14. The conference hopes to discuss new plans and ideas to protect the Great Apes and other endangered species – such as the rhino and elephant – from extinction.
According to the BBC, the treaty currently protects about 35,000 animals and plants, but the real problem comes in when attempts are made to regulate the trade of flora and fauna. Legitimate trade figures are known, and these amount to over $300 billion a year, but it is difficult to discover how much is being made through illegal trade and the black market.
Only time will tell whether or not CITES’ new plans will have effect. Meanwhile, Odzala’s Gorilla also appeared at a shrine in the city to spread the message in this clip!