DR Congo Visit + Undercover Filming

Green Heart Films arrive in Kinshasa in the middle of October 2012 and left Kinshasa for Europe on the 10th of March 2013 and after receiving film permits from the park authority’s I began a journey that was to last for the next five months and would take me to five national parks all of which are presently caught in the ongoing crisis that the DR Congo is presently confronting on a continuous cycle.

In a world where resources are in rapid decline the DR Congo finds itself at the center of global economic attention – timber – gold – copper – coltan – diamonds – bauxite and now gas and oil these are only some of the vast natural resources that are to be found within fabulously Congo Basin.

With the new global economic order undergoing rapid changes China and latterly India are developing at breath taking speed and in order to sustain their economic growth these new emerging economies will require unlimited new resources and the DR Congo is indeed the latest and perhaps the last remaining final frontier in fact a sleeping giant or in reality a fragile underdeveloped desperately poor African nation.

The new global economic order will demand access to this nations wealth in-fact there is presently a new rush to carve up the vast mineral and timber resources of this still largely inaccesible underdeveloped nation.

The rapidly changing landscape of the DR Congo has created serious instability as many of the DR Congo national parks are known to be endowed with vast reserves of minerals and lately new discovery’s of abundant reserves of gas and oil.

During the course of my time filming within this nation I was to witness at first hand the constant level of instability and even the physical demise of this nations national parks some of which have previously been declared as World Heritage Sites.

Three months after having filmed the Ituri Epulu Okapi reserve the project was attacked and destroyed by Simba rebels led by a former government soldier by the name of Morgan.

The rebels were said to have been armed by a regional governor and the local government garrison in order to access this regions gold ivory and the territory vast timber reserves and other precious minerals.

Rapid economic exploitation of this regions untapped natural resources are depleting the habitat of the Congo basin unique and fragile biodiversity.

One park I was fortunate to visit was the World heritage conservation region of the Virunga. Africa’s oldest park and now under threat by a rebel movement known as the M23.

Neighboring countries are accused of backing the general insecurity within the eastern region of the DRC and with their vast mineral wealth within this part of the DR Congo there is an increasing attempt to seize power in order to control the fabulous potential wealth of this region.

Oil and gas have also been recently discovered within the confines of lake Edward located within the very heart of the Virunga, energy resources are also said to have been found in abundance along the natural fault line of the Rift Valley.

The environmental impact that unregulated economic development is having upon the Congo basin is beginning to have serious consequences for this still largely intact forested region.

The once magnificent vast elephant herds of the Congo Basin are declining dramatically and I was to film and to document the illegal sale of ivory to largely Chinese citizens

employed in regional mines and the construction of various infrastructure projects such as roads and railways these are essential in order to access this forested regions resources and to gain access to the Congo Basin economic future.