Taking to the airwaves to save gorillas – and getting rewarded for it!

Radio head: Here I am picking up my broadcasting award

Radio head: Here I am picking up my broadcasting award

Hi, this is Tuver,

As many of you may know, as well as keeping you up to speed with the Gorilla Organization’s work on the frontline of gorilla conservation through this blog, I also produce and broadcast our own radio show – Cosmos, Our World.

First broadcast in 1999, this is a great way to communicate with people living across eastern DRC, as well as in neighbouring parts of Uganda and Rwanda, and to discuss issues relating to the environment and gorilla conservation in particular. This is a project I’m really passionate about and so you can imagine my delight when I found out that the show had been named as the best programme for education for 2010-2011 by the Kivu Business & Tours Agency. What’s more, I was named ‘Best Presenter’, which is quite an achievement given that there are more than a dozen stations broadcasting here in Goma right now!

This award shows just how well regarded our outreach work is. The judges recognised that we’re slowly but surely transforming the local attitude to conservation by demonstrating to people how, by protecting the gorillas and their habitat, they can also improve their own livelihoods. For example, in recent programmes I’ve talked to representatives of ICCN (the Congolese Wildlife Authority), who told listeners that 30% of the money raised through gorilla tourism permits get put back into communities, while we also broadcast from the Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony in Rwanda, illustrating just how valuable gorillas can be to a national economy.

Now we’ve just started broadcasting eight shows a month, on two different stations, so let’s hope more and more people living on the edge of the gorillas’ protected home come to realise that it’s in their best interest to protect their endangered cousins!

Here’s a few pictures of the radio show in action…

Telling communities about the benefits of gorilla tourism is something I have a real passion for

Telling communities about the benefits of gorilla tourism is something I have a passion for

Getting communities involved with the radio programme is key to its success

Getting communities involved with the radio programme is key to its success

Here I am interviewing rangers working on the frontline of gorilla conservation

Here I am interviewing rangers working on the frontline of gorilla conservation

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