Impact of Insecurity & Conflict Minerals
Though gorillas are protected by Congolese and international laws, illegal hunting for bushmeat still occurs and has been the main driver of the gorillas’ decline. Hunting has been facilitated by the proliferation of firearms resulting from widespread insecurity in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, which was the epicenter of war in 1990s that resulted 5.4 million deaths, more than any conflict since World War II. Congo has an estimated $24 trillion in natural wealth, and four minerals in particular – gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum – are highly valued for use in consumer products such as cell phones. These “conflict minerals” have fueled and continue to sustain armed conflict in Congo, particularly in remote forests in the eastern provinces where Grauer’s gorillas live. Gorillas are killed and eaten by miners and others with easy access to guns.
Learn more about the conflict
Learn more about conflict minerals