Rebecca has been working at FFI since September 2007. Though she studied conservation in her BA and MSc, she decided that the life in the jungle just wasn't for her. Having grown up in New York City, she has experienced more pigeons and squirrels than parrots and spider monkeys. So she decided to write about the impact that FFI's projects have on the ground.
Her current role as Communications Officer (Business & Biodiversity) has allowed her to focus her energy towards FFI's innovative Business & Biodiversity Programme. Rebecca helps to get the message out about FFI's strategic corporate partnerships and what they have helped to achieve for global biodiversity.
Following attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army in January and February this year, Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been left in ruin. However FFI’s Rapid Response Facility (RRF) has stepped in with a significant grant to help the park rebuild its communications infrastructure.
Surveillance patrols are crucial for the protection of the park’s buffalo, giraffe, hippo and most likely even elephant but they are simply not possible without proper communications. Therefore the park is currently very exposed to poachers and other armed groups.
Efficient communications are also essential in order to ensure the safety of all staff involved in the management of the park, but also the communities surrounding it. Radio links with relief agencies and the Congolese army need to be intensified in order to strengthen the very important partnerships that have been set up since the attack.
The RRF grant, allocated on 10 February, will go towards buying the most essential components of the communication system destroyed during the attack, as well as solar equipment to power the communication system and a welding machine for the construction of the roof to the room to store the communication equipment as well as the roofs of the other buildings that were torched during the attack. With the proper communications networks back in place, the park rangers will be in a position to restart the patrolling of the park.
Though the RRF grant is very welcome support, Garamba National Park still needs so much more to rebuild everything that was lost or destroyed. FFI has launched an emergency appeal to provide much needed assistance and ultimately help rebuild the park’s administrative infrastructure.