Here we are committed

Acti­ve CO² savings and WWF sponsorship

In 2005, we rea­li­zed the lar­gest pho­to­vol­taic plant in Kahl am Main. Sin­ce then, more than 300 tons of CO² have been avoided.

Our buil­ding reno­va­ti­on until 2018 will result in a fur­ther 15.5 tons of CO² savings per year.

Our goal is to beco­me ener­gy self-suf­fi­ci­ent by 2025.

We have been sup­por­ting the WWF with our spon­sor­s­hip sin­ce 2006.

UNESCO has desi­gna­ted a trans­na­tio­nal pro­tec­ted area “Tri­na­tio­nal de la Sangha” as a World Heri­ta­ge Site. Ano­t­her Meiu­len­stein in the Cape for the pre­ser­va­ti­on of the last moun­tain goril­las. The goal by 2020 is to bring the main thre­at from defo­re­sta­ti­on to a net 0.

Anyo­ne who has ever been to Afri­ca feels this fasci­na­ti­on that this con­ti­nent exerts on us Euro­peans. In many pla­ces, howe­ver, the thre­at of over­ex­plo­ita­ti­on of natu­re beco­mes visi­ble. Many ani­mal spe­ci­es are quiet­ly dying out without this tou­ch­ing our per­cep­ti­on. The goril­las in the Con­go, howe­ver, repeated­ly give rise to sad head­lines all the way to Euro­pe. They are repre­sen­ta­ti­ve of all extinct breeds.

Wes­tern low­land goril­la & moun­tain gorilla
The­re are two spe­ci­es of goril­la: the Eas­tern Goril­la (Goril­la beringet) with the sub­s­pe­ci­es Moun­tain Goril­la and Eas­tern Low­land Goril­la (or Grey Goril­la), and the Wes­tern Goril­la (Goril­la goril-la) with the sub­s­pe­ci­es Wes­tern Low­land Goril­la and Cross River Goril­la. The Wes­tern Low­land Goril­la has a brow­nish-gray coat with a red­dish to maroon scoop, in con­trast to the com­ple­te­ly black coat of the Eas­tern Goril­la. Also, unli­ke their more eas­ter­ly rela­ti­ves, adult males of the Wes­tern goril­la have a “sil­ver­back” that extends to the thighs.
Our rela­ti­ves are weigh­ty. Adult male goril­las weigh an average of 200 kg – some­ti­mes even more than 300 kg. They are often twice as hea­vy as the fema­les. When stan­ding on two legs, the gent­le giants reach a height of up to 1.70 meters. In the wild, they live to be 35 years and older. Goril­las feed on fruits, ber­ries, shoots, lea­ves, herbs, roots, and bark, pas­si­ve­ly inge­sting ani­mals such as snails and insects in their diet. They live in a high­ly deve­lo­ped social struc­tu­re made up of clo­se­ly knit fami­ly mem­bers. The­se groups roam an area of 5 to 30 km². In the Wes­tern Goril­la, goril­la groups con­sist of four to five fema­les and usual­ly as many young. The Eas­tern goril­las form a fami­ly alli­an­ce of usual­ly 15 to 20 ani­mals. The asso­cia­ti­ons are usual­ly led by a sin­gle adult male, known as the silverback.
The wes­tern low­land goril­la is con­si­de­red cri­ti­cal­ly end­an­ge­red, and indi­vi­du­al iso­la­ted groups are even threa­tened with extinc­tion. Today, about 90,000 ani­mals still live in par­ti­al­ly iso­la­ted groups in the forests of Nige­ria, Camer­oon, Equa­to­ri­al Gui­nea, Gabon, the Repu­blic of Con­go, the Cen­tral Afri­can Repu­blic and pos­si­b­ly in the Ango­lan Cabin­da Enclave.
The last 700 or so moun­tain goril­las live in two scat­te­red popu­la­ti­ons. About 400 ani­mals are still found in pro­tec­ted are­as of the Virun­ga Moun­tains in the tri-bor­der area of Rwan­da, Ugan­da and the Demo­cra­tic Repu­blic of Con­go. The second popu­la­ti­on lives in Ugan­da in the forests of the Bwin­di Imp­ene­tra­ble Natio­nal Park.

Deple­ti­on of the forest and its inhabitants
The goril­las’ habi­tat, the tro­pi­cal rain­fo­rest with its uni­que wealth of plants and ani­mals, is threa­tened with fal­ling vic­tim to the dest­ruc­ti­ve work of saws and axes. Reck­less log­ging has incre­a­sed shar­ply in recent years and has cau­sed forest are­as to shrink con­si­der­ab­ly. Fur­ther wounds are inflic­ted on the forest stand by unre­gu­la­ted slash-and-burn agri­cul­tu­re, alt­hough the land gai­ned is rather poor and the yiel­ds from it are dis­pro­por­tio­na­te to the los­ses in spe­ci­es rich­ness. In the sum­mer of 2004, for examp­le, sett­lers ille­gal­ly clea­red 1,500 hec­ta­res of Virun­ga Natio­nal Park in the Demo­cra­tic Repu­blic of Con­go in a mat­ter of days. Road con­struc­tion, mining and other infra­st­ruc­tu­re pro­jects are also taking their toll on the apes – espe­cial­ly as poa­ching is steadi­ly incre­a­sing as a result. The sur­vi­val of the peace­ful goril­la fami­lies is severely threa­tened by habi­tat loss, ille­gal hun­ting, the bush­me­at and live ani­mal tra­de, intro­du­ced dise­a­ses and civil wars. In parts of Gabon and the Repu­blic of Con­go, up to 90 per­cent of goril­la popu­la­ti­ons have fal­len vic­tim to the Ebo­la virus. Redu­ced popu­la­ti­ons are now even more vul­nerable to ille­gal hun­ting and habi­tat loss. If no cour­se cor­rec­tion is made, more than 90 per­cent of the gre­at apes’ cur­rent habi­tat in the Afri­can jung­le will have been des­troy­ed by 2030. At that point, most gre­at ape popu­la­ti­ons will beco­me extinct wit­hin the next 25 to 50 years.


Pro­tec­ted area for the wes­tern low­land goril­la and its forest
In the extre­me sou­thwes­tern tip of the Cen­tral Afri­can Repu­blic lies the Dzan­ga-Sangha Con­ser­va­ti­on Area, whe­re WWF is working with GTZ to sup­port the government in its con­ser­va­ti­on efforts.
Nume­rous fami­lies of the wes­tern low­land goril­la find the con­di­ti­ons that ensu­re their sur­vi­val in this still-sta­ble retre­at, along­side other threa­tened spe­ci­es such as the forest ele­phant, the shy bon­go ante­l­o­pe and the chim­pan­zee. But the forests of the Cen­tral Afri­can Repu­blic are threa­tened by incre­a­singly inten­si­ve log­ging. Other threa­tening fac­tors, in addi­ti­on to gold and dia­mond mining, inclu­de the incre­a­sing bush­me­at tra­de and expan­ding agri­cul­tu­ral land. WWF wants to put a stop to this devas­ta­ting trend in order to save the uni­que bio­di­ver­si­ty in the tro­pi­cal forests.
For examp­le, WWF sup­ports the Dzan­ga-Sangha Pro­tec­ted Area Com­plex in the Cen­tral Afri­can Repu­blic (CAR), a para­di­se for wes­tern low­land goril­las. At WWF’s sug­ges­ti­on, Dzan­ga-Sangha was desi­gna­ted as a pro­tec­ted area com­plex by the government in 1990.

For this the WWF us as sponsors
By beco­m­ing a spon­sor, you will help ensu­re the sur­vi­val of the Wes­tern Low­land Goril­la and its habitat.
WWF Ger­ma­ny sup­ports the pro­tec­tion of the forest area in the fol­lowing areas:

  • Estab­lish­ment of an effi­ci­ent pro­tec­ted area administration
    Trai­ning, equip­ment and pay­ment of game wardens
    Poa­ching control
    Sup­port for the local popu­la­ti­on in the are­as of health and pri­ma­ry school care
    Envi­ron­men­tal edu­ca­ti­on and pro­mo­ti­on of sus­tainab­le manage­ment methods
    Con­trol of forest concessions
    Pro­mo­ti­on of ecotourism

Deve­lo­p­ment of a trans­bounda­ry con­ti­guous pro­tec­ted area com­plex that inclu­des forest are­as in Camer­oon, the Cen­tral Afri­can Repu­blic and Congo.
Estab­lish­ment of an envi­ron­men­tal fund as a cen­tral com­po­nent of a long-term finan­cing concept.


The pro­ject implementation
WWF Ger­ma­ny assu­mes pro­ject respon­si­bi­li­ty in Cen­tral Afri­ca. In the Cen­tral Afri­can Repu­blic and Gabon, it works clo­se­ly with WWF USA, and in Camer­oon with WWF Netherlands.
The imple­men­ta­ti­on of the indi­vi­du­al mea­su­res is car­ri­ed out by the natio­nal WWF offices on site in clo­se coope­ra­ti­on with the rele­vant Afri­can part­ner orga­niz­a­ti­ons, the local popu­la­ti­on and with the appro­val of the governments and aut­ho­ri­ties affected.

Help for the peop­le means pro­tec­tion for the moun­tain gorilla
Moun­tain goril­las are among the most end­an­ge­red mam­mals in the world. To ensu­re the long-term pro­tec­tion of the spe­ci­es and its habi­tats in its three ran­ge sta­tes of Rwan­da, Ugan­da and the Demo­cra­tic Repu­blic of Con­go, the Inter­na­tio­nal Goril­la Con­ser­va­ti­on Pro­gram­me (IGCP) was foun­ded in 1991. In the IGCP, WWF and two other inter­na­tio­nal envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion orga­niz­a­ti­ons work clo­se­ly with the pro­tec­ted area aut­ho­ri­ties of the three bor­de­ring coun­tries. In the past ten years, this trans­bounda­ry com­mit­ment has led to a 17 per­cent incre­a­se in the goril­la popu­la­ti­on to about 700 moun­tain goril­las. But the gro­wing popu­la­ti­on and also the dif­fi­cult poli­ti­cal situa­ti­on end­an­ger the sur­vi­val of the moun­tain goril­las. More and more of their habi­tat is disap­pearing. It is being con­ver­ted into agri­cul­tu­ral land or clea­red for fire­wood. In Rwan­da, eas­tern Con­go and Ugan­da, about 91 per­cent of the popu­la­ti­on lives from agri­cul­tu­re, and for that they need cul­tiv­a­ble land. For more than 96 per­cent of the peop­le, wood, which they also collect in the pro­tec­ted are­as, is the only source of ener­gy. In addi­ti­on, about 40,000 peop­le have fled to the east of the Demo­cra­tic Repu­blic of Con­go. Some refu­gee camps have also been set up not far from Virun­ga Natio­nal Park. The peop­le the­re need wood for coo­king, for hea­ting – for sur­vi­val. But Virun­ga Natio­nal Park is also home to 150 end­an­ge­red moun­tain gorillas.
Tog­e­ther with the IGCP, WWF is com­mit­ted to hel­ping the peop­le in this regi­on crea­te alter­na­ti­ve sources of inco­me and make the use of wood sus­tainab­le. In the long term, the habi­tat of the moun­tain goril­la and many other spe­ci­es can be pre­ser­ved and their sur­vi­val secured.

For this we need sponsors
By beco­m­ing a spon­sor, you will help to ensu­re the sur­vi­val of the moun­tain goril­la and its habitat.
WWF’s mea­su­res to pro­tect the moun­tain goril­la are:

Envi­ron­men­tal edu­ca­ti­on and a clo­se coope­ra­ti­on with the local popu­la­ti­on around the pro­tec­ted are­as and deve­lo­p­ment of alter­na­ti­ve inco­me oppor­tu­nities (e.g. ecotourism),
to stop over­ex­plo­ita­ti­on in the pro­tec­ted areas.
Trai­ning and coor­di­na­ti­on of pro­tec­ted area staff.
Sci­en­ti­fic moni­to­ring of goril­las to learn more about popu­la­ti­on trends to iden­ti­fy thre­ats early.
Working clo­se­ly with the United Nati­ons Refu­gee Pro­gram to prompt­ly pro­vi­de fire­wood to refu­gees to pre­vent them from ent­e­ring Virun­ga Natio­nal Park.
Regu­la­ting log­ging in Virun­ga Natio­nal Park and crea­ting wood reser­ves out­side the pro­tec­ted area. Over the past 20 years, WWF has hel­ped plant about ten mil­li­on trees around Virun­ga Natio­nal Park. This amount of tim­ber is almost suf­fi­ci­ent to sup­ply the local people.

Pro­ject implementation
WWF is part of the Inter­na­tio­nal Goril­la Con­ser­va­ti­on Pro­gram, working clo­se­ly with the con­ser­va­ti­on orga­niz­a­ti­ons Afri­can Wild­life Foun­da­ti­on (AWF) and Fau­na and Flo­ra Inter­na­tio­nal (FFI), as well as the three pro­tec­ted area aut­ho­ri­ties of Con­go: Insti­tut Con­go­lais pour la Con­ser­va­ti­on de la Natu­re (ICCN), Rwan­da: Office Rwan­dais de Tou­risme et des Parcs Nation­aux (ORTPN) and Ugan­da: Ugan­da Wild­life Aut­ho­ri­ty (UWA).

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