Saturday, February 1, 2020


FOREST ELEPHANT AND ITURI FOREST IN CONGO - Essay Example On the other hand, the natives hunt on the forest elephants and perform various other activities to sustain their life. There is a fine line of difference between upholding the natural aspects of the forest and fulfilling the needs of all the stakeholders. A research including the perspectives of all the stakeholders involved is required in order to establish that line of difference. Background of Ituri The forest got its name from the famous Ituri River. Confined within the boundaries of the Uganda borders and the open regions of Savannah, Ituri forest along with its rivers ends up on the banks of the Zaire River. The forest is composed of very hilly regions covered with dense vegetation and the average altitude across the hills is around 800 meters. The dense vegetation includes trees of hardwood type, predominantly spread across several acres of the land. The forest is abundant in its natural resources and thus provides immense opportunities for economic exploitations. (Ituri Fore st, 2011) Stakeholders Mbutis The natives are the major stakeholders involved in modifying both economic and environmental perspectives of the forest. The Mbutis, formerly known as the Pygmies, have sustained their life in these dense forests for several generations. Although, at present, their population is standing around a meager 40000, they still play a major role in determining the usage of this forest area. The Mbutis primary mode of subsistence has been through hunting. Although, the reasoning for their hunting expeditions have all been closely connected to their economical subsistence, the current trends of hunting by the Mbutis, does not restrict to that reason alone. Other economic aspects are brought into the picture, bringing up different stakeholders, interested in various products of hunting. There is a wide market opened for trading forest products especially the meat of deer, monkeys and forest elephants. The contemporary trends in trade market suggest that there is a growing demand for the Antelope meat. Commercial organizations and other entrepreneurs are targeting the high commercial value for Antelope meat and hence, irrespective of the treacherous conditions of the forests, they travel up all the way to exchange flour, rice and other food products with Mbuti for Antelope meat. Since commercial hunting provides them the necessary means to sustain a forager’s life, there hunting expeditions continue to grow in the Ituri forest. Apart from this, they cultivate vegetation and extract minerals from the land and exchange it for food products. But, the resources of minerals and trees have attracted other stakeholders to make use of these resources for commercial purposes. The places once exploited only by these natives have become a source for many. As a result, there protein supplier’s role that they have been pursuing for more than 2000 years is dwindling rapidly. Immigrated settlers The exploitation started in the 1940’s i tself when the Belgians opened up the roads for easy transport and since then, several acres of land have been wiped out of trees for cultivation and agriculture. One major consequence because of these circumstances is the depletion of traditional trade between the Mbutis and the

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