Sunday, September 2, 2012

Consulting in Kundelungu and Upemba Parks Katanga/DRC

From April-October 2012 I was involved in a consulting contract for the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) as part of a larger project to rehabilitate two parks (Kundelungu and Upemba) in Katanga/DRC-Congo--see Upemba National Park Conservation Project I personally took two trips there (about a month each) in April/May and July/August 2012 while my colleague and partner--Steve Schill went twice (April and October) for about a month total time in the field.  

Of course there was a lot more work after each trip at home by both of us compiling and editing data and collaborating with other consultants and our partners.  My technical partner in this effort--Steve Schill--is a senior scientist for The Nature Conservancy and normally works in the Eastern Caribbean.  This effort owes him a debt of gratitude for excellent technical efforts he did personally and that by a student of his--Nikita Chotoo--who did a lot of the digitizing, aerial image interpretation, and collating/analysis of spatial data.  Thank you both!

We finished phase one of our work at the end of October 2012 which focused on collecting data for a GIS-based General Management Plan (GMP).  We have published many maps and other data for use by our partners in the DRC and elsewhere as they continue the efforts to create a full GMP for use by the ICCN (the park service of DRC-Congo); the entire GMP process continues for several more months before it is fully implemented. Funding for the effort came from both GIZ and the European Union.
Please feel free to contact us or FZS directly (see contact below) if you need access to specific maps, spatial data, and background documents on a wide selection of management and science themes including initial assessments of conservation risks and threats, mapping of tourist sites and other infrastructure, as well as an assessment of basic biological and landscape ecology patterns in this most beautiful area of Katanga (southeast DRC). The blog posts listed further below provide more information that may be useful and includes many photos.  

We look forward to questions, comments and suggestions that we can pass on to our colleagues at FZS--the key contact person is:

Bryna Griffin
Program Officer: Upemba National Park  |  Frankfurt Zoological Society
Lubumbashi  |  Democratic Republic of Congo
DRC +243-99-492-3133  |  +243-81-057-2120

  • Below is an overview map of both parks and an initial draft threats map (click here for the larger PDF versions: Threats Map & Park Locations map).

Following is the list of ten blog posts from the most recent to earliest (April-October 2012) with photos and text describing key activities and trips to the field and a discussion of landscape ecology parameters and conservation issues we observed.  The online blog posts reflect my (Bob Ford's) personal observations as are the photos and they do not reflect FZS policy or goals or intent in any way--any errors are all mine.  

The blog posts were meant to assist us and our partners (and the general public) in understanding some of the issues we faced as well as to assist in planning and describing the landscape of both parks to other consultants who are preparing to work there.  We hope you find them enjoyable and informative!  Please advise us of errors or corrections/additions needed!

  1. Savanna Biotopes in Kundelung
  2. Forest Biotopes in Kundelungu and Upemba
  3. Waterfalls, Rapids, Rivers, Streams and Lakes in Kundelungu
  4. Landscape Ecology of DAMBOS in Kundelungu
  5. The Conservation Values and Risks to the Kundelungu & Upemba Ecosystem
  6. From Ashes Life and Rebirth can Occur--for Nature and Humans
  7. Back from DRC/Congo to Rockville
  8. A Week of Meetings Regards the Challenges that Await Us
  9. Lubumbashi--here we come!
  10. Back in Africa--a Pleasure and Challenge
My best, Bob (GeoBob) Ford, Rockville Utah (Updated November 2, 2012)


Robert E. Ford, PhD, MPH
P.O. Box 630155
143 East Grafton Rd (250 South)
Rockville, UT 84763-0155 USA
USA Cell +1-909-363-6332
Personal Email:
SKYPE Name: geobobford


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