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UN protects 'wild heart' of Central Africa
Date:7/2/2012

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA (July 2, 2012) A Central African protected area that straddles three countries and teems with gorillas, elephants, and chimpanzees has been named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Education, Science, and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.

Called the Sangha Tri-National Protected Area complex (known by its French acronym TNS) the site consists of a 25,000 km2 (10,000 square-mile) contiguous area across the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Cameroon, and the Central African Republic and marks the first World Heritage site that spans three nations. The core of the TNS is formed by three contiguous national parks connected by the Sangha River. The United Nations World Heritage Committee made the announcement on July 1 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The TNS already benefits from long-term technical and financial support from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a UK-registered trust fund called the TNS Foundation (FTNS), UNESCO's World Heritage Centre, the UN Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), and the governments of the U.S., Germany, France and Spain, along with private donors.

The World Heritage Site declaration marks the culmination of a vision dating from 2000 when the Governments of the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic, through signing of the TNS cooperation agreement, agreed to work together to assure the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources of the Sangha Tri-National Protected Area complex .

Timothe FOMETE, Executive Director of the TNS Foundation, said: "The TNS recognition as a World Heritage Site comes as a reward to a multi-partnership approach fostered by the Foundation within the framework of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC). This Decision raises the profile of TNS as well as expectations on the urgency of an integrated conservation and development approach; with the sup
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Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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UN protects 'wild heart' of Central Africa
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