Lanham, MD (Vocus) September 29, 2009
WHAT: Leaders of Congo Basin countries, members of Congress and leading conservation organizations are gathering in Washington to recognize 10 years of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership. At a Congressional hearing the future of the world's second largest rainforest will be discussed, including how those forests can help solve the climate crisis and contribute to regional security, effective governance and sustainable development.
WHERE: U.S. House of Representatives Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Hearing Room, B308 Rayburn House Office Building
WHEN: Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 4:00-5:30 PM
WHO: The following will be available for expert commentary and interviews with other participants may be possible:
- Patrick Bergin of the African Wildlife Foundation
- Russell Mittermeier of Conservation International
- Michael Fay of Wildlife Conservation Society
- Carter Roberts of World Wildlife Fund
- The Congo Basin Forest Partnership is a global model of cooperation that has helped create millions of acres of new protected areas, initiate new multi-national anti-poaching initiatives and reduced the rate of biodiversity loss in the past 10 years.
- More support is needed at this critical time, however, as there are continued threats from bushmeat hunting, illegal and unsustainable logging, mining and climate change.
- This event offers an opportunity to discuss renewed conservation efforts in the region and how the Congo Basin Forest Partnership can contribute to the development of strong and sustainable democratic governments and the health and prosperity of the region's people.
- The forests sequester millions of tons of carbon that could play a crucial role in international efforts to mitigate global warming and provide economic security for the region.
NOTES: The hearing follows a closed round-table discussion session that is closed to press and the public. However, interviews with key participants can be arranged.
The forum is sponsored by the International Conservation Caucus Foundation, an association of public and private sector representatives in the United States that are dedicated to international conservation. The United States government has invested more than $100 million along with technical expertise to support the Congo Basin Forest Partnership in cooperation with the governments in Central Africa.
John Butler, African Wildlife Foundation, 202-939-3313; JButler(AT)awf.org
Rob McNeil, Conservation International, 571-232-0455; r.mcneil(AT)conservation.org
Scott Smith, Wildlife Conservation Society, 718-220-3698; ssmith(AT)wcs.org
Lee Poston, World Wildlife Fund, 202-299-6442; lee.poston(AT)wwfus.org