Saturday, April 7, 2012

Back in Africa--a Pleasure and Challenge

Over the next few weeks and months I'll be assisting the Frankfurt Zoological Society and others in DRC/Congo in planning for ways to better manage and rehabilitate two formerly great national parks (Upemba and Kundelungu in SE DRC/Congo--the Katanga region).  These great parks had fallen into decay after many years of turmoil here in Central Africa but they are still beautiful and have lots of potential to save remaining macrofauna (elephants, zebra, etc) from poaching, war, settlement expansion and other instability and natural resource degradation.

In April we'll be working with the DRC "park service" (ICCN) on a new general management plan and our small team of consultants from GeoBob's Consulting and others will help on integrating GIS and remote sensing into the system for better oversight, monitoring and research.  We just arrived today in Lubumbashi, DRC's second largest city (see photo below) where we will start work with some workshops and planning--see more about Lubumbashi HERE (see photo below).  See more about the FZS project in Upemba National Park HERE.

On our way here we had wonderful layover in the Netherlands visiting former colleagues and students at the ITC/University of Twente in Enschede, Netherlands and we passed a beautiful afternoon seeing the flowers blooming at Keukenhof gardens (see more here and see photo below)).  This site can be visited in a short 30-minute ride from Schipol International Airport near Amsterdam.

Over the next 2-3 weeks I'll try to update our experiences in word and photography.  Come back and visit often and wish us well.  If you have ideas or contacts on how people/organizations you know can assist in this project please let us know.  My best, Bob Ford

Keukenhoff in Springtime

The downtown area of Lubumbashi

Our Project focus area--northwest of Lubumbashi--the 
national parks of Upemba and Kundelungu

Bob Ford (Updated April 8, 2012) during a downpour in Lubumbashi.  How great to experience REAL rain again!

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