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Figure 9: Even though the logging concessions fall out- side of the protected areas, it is not uncommon – due to lack of resources for enforcement – that companies log inside protected areas, where often more valuable timber is present, and export this as part of their legal conces- sions – many however with at least 50% underreporting.

INTERVIEW

“We make it a priority that the gorillas are preserved”

Hon. Serapio Rukundo MP

Uganda’s Minister of State for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities

I am a Member of Parliament, representing Kabale municipal- ity. I am also the Minister of State in charge of tourism, wildlife and antiquities. The United Nations declared 2009 the year of the gorilla, and, as a minister, in charge of tourism for the Re- public of Uganda, I acknowledge the central role that the gorillas in Uganda play in our tourism. As you may know, Uganda hosts more than 50% of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world, so we make it a priority to ensure that the gorillas are preserved. The gorillas and chimpanzees are the closest cousins of man. So if you have not visited the gorillas, if you want to know a bit about yourself, which you might not know, go to see the gorillas. See how they behave, see how the mothers look after their kids, see how the father, the silverback, the head of the family behaves,

how he protects the whole family; then you get to know a bit about yourself.

So we in Uganda want people to know what the gorilla is, want to encourage people to visit the gorillas and in collaboration with our partners, want the people of the world to know that there is a gorilla, a close cousin of man, and come to Uganda, come to Rwanda, come to DRC for the mountain gorillas, and go to West Africa for the lowland gorillas. It is important for the whole world to know about the gorilla and for people, near or far, to contribute to the conservation programmes across this country and across Africa, to make sure that this closest cousin of man survives. Thank you.

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