CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Continued trans-boundary collaboration in law enforcement has proven effective in re- versing the loss of the critically endangered mountain gorillas and other species in the parks, in spite of major challenges involved. Substantially upgrading and expanding such support, training and trans-boundary coordination involving also where required UN forces in controlling trans-boundary transport outside the protected areas would provide a critical option for success. This is also due to the facts that the rangers have the local knowledge and experience in working off the road system inside the parks, but limited mandate once the resources are extracted from, the protected areas. However, substan- tial control of the road system and particularly all border crossings is vital for reducing the pressure on the parks – as well the allocation and extraction and export of resources through the multinational companies present in the region.
In order to halt this development it is essential law enforce- ment, resources and training of the rangers is substantially increased. This includes direct support to international bod- ies dealing with law enforcement issues such as INTERPOL and expanded mandate to MONUC to assist in and hinder il- legal trans-boundary transport of resources across the borders. Without halting the financing and primary motivation of the militias and the companies involved the conflict is most un- likely stop, and hence, neither will the destruction of the na- tional parks and the gorillas. It is also essential to support law enforcement to control the bushmeat trade across the entire range of the ten gorilla states – and address the rapidly rising food security issue.
Furthermore, it is imperative that investigative bodies are truly cross-boundary in nature and involve the entire chain from in-
vestigating the complicit timber and mineral companies pro- curing the resources and based in among other Asia, the EU and North America, to their subsidiaries or “consultance” firms based in Greater Congo Basin in the region, down to close co- ordination with both law enforcement in the parks, as well as the UN forces present. Unravelling the continued financing of the militias and corrupt officials is imperative to stabilizing the region and involves traditional law enforcement investigations and the agencies specialized in environmental crime and smug- gling, including, but not limited to UNEP, INTERPOL, CITES, UNODC and WCO. Companies that obtain illegally harvested or smuggled natural resources including, but not limited to, timber, charcoal or minerals, are not only involved in issues related to corporate responsibility, transparency or ethical ques- tions, they become complicit in transnational crime and risk investigation and prosecution