A green army
1st June, 2008
Natural resources,are increasingly responsible for fuelling violence across the world. Now some environmentalists want to fight back – using force if necessary.
Ranger Kalibumba stood no chance. Five bullets tore into his chest and abdomen at point-blank range as he attempted to intercept a fleeing gunman who’d just stolen a motorcycle and killed its owner. Kalibumba, a wildlife ranger based in Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), died shortly after being shot. He was 36 years old and leaves behind eight children.
Kalibumba is the latest in a long line of rangers to perish while defending the DRC’s abundant wildlife and rich ecosystems, and the latest victim of a disturbing global pattern of killings, violent attacks and persecution of those working on the frontline of environmental protection.
Previously unpublished figures reveal how hundreds of national park wardens, rangers and wildlife and forest guards have died or been seriously injured in recent years in attacks across Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the United States.
The dossier, compiled by the International Ranger Federation, seeks to highlight what it describes as the ‘hidden human cost’ of environmental protection, reads with disturbing monotony: ‘…killed in fire fight with rebels’; ‘…shot by loggers’;...
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