Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Rwandan Tax to Help Mountain Gorillas

Great idea! Companies should pay to support the species whose image they exploit...oops,I mean, "borrow." The mountain gorillas are an important asset to the Rwandan economy and I'm glad to see the government realizes that. Hopefully, the money raised really will be earmarked for gorilla protection.

Rwandan companies using the country's famous mountain gorillas' image for marketing purposes will have to pay a tax aimed at financing the endangered species protection, officials announced Monday.

"We are launching this campaign to generate income earmarked for the species' protection," said Fidele Ruzigandekwe, in charge of conservation at the Rwandan Office of Tourism and National Parks.

There are an estimated 720 surviving mountain gorillas in the world. They live in national parks straddling the borders between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"From now on, any company using the gorillas' image for advertising or any other commercial purpose will have to pay a tax to finance the Volcanos Park and specifically the gorilla conservation programme," Ruzigandekwe said.

The new law is to come into force at the beginning of 2008.

Photo by *Simian*.

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