Sustainable Development in Africa & Satellites - page 76

74 - Sustainable Development in Africa & Satellites
 It takes two days to make butterfly pictures like the one above and three days for the
more complicated ones as on the next page. Building rearing houses would help this craft
to continue to exist.
© Philippe Annoyer
dieubéni omonoma, butterflies
pictures artist.
Dzanga Sangha Réserve Spéciale
de Forêt Dense
(Special Dense
Forest Reserve) some 500 km
from Bangui in the Central African
Republic houses thousands of species:
mammals (elephants, gorillas, bongos,
etc.), tropical birds (touracos, parakeets,
hornbills, etc.) and insects. It is the land
of the pygmies who live in primary forest.
Numerous multi-coloured butterflies
are also found and their wings are used
to make pictures. This craft activity,
thought to have started in Mexico,
reached the Central African Republic in
1965. Working about biodiversity in the
Dzana-Ndooki National Parc, the Sangha
scientific expedition met the artist Dieu
béni Omonoma.
Dieubéni, when and how did you start to
make these pictures?
I have been catching butterflies for
20 years. I started with a net and then
learned trapping techniques with the help
of my father, who bought me my first net.
He was a recognised artist in the Central
African Republic and his nickname was
Pompidou. When I started, there were 24
butterfly hunters but now there are only
12 of us.
Collection today is mainly in the Ombéla-
Mpoko region in the Lobaye, in Haute
Sangha and Basse Kotto. It takes two
days to make simple pictures and three
days for the more complicated ones.
What is your actual analysis of the
environmental impact in the places
where butterflies are collected?
Insects should be protected in the same
way that elephants and gorillas are. For
people from the other countries in the
world they form true riches in the Central
African Republic. However, there is no
law governing the making of pictures
with butterfly wings. In 1987, a German
proposed one to stop this craft activity
but it came to nothing. It is not the right
solution. This craft must continue to exist.
With the regulation of catches, we can
reconcile its existence and the respect of
biodiversity. It is a valuable thing for us
and for our children.
We often talk about this and we can draw
up a bulletin of health of the biodiversity
in the areas in which we hunt butterflies.
There are fewer species in several sites
but we do not know if we are really to
blame. Forest exploitation, the cutting of
trees and shrubs for firewood, the settling
of people and various resulting impacts
certainly cause more damage than us.
Do you think that it is possible to
reconcile the continuation of this craft
and the conservation of butterflies in
their natural environment?
We have some ideas. For example,
building one or more rearing houses
would mean that we could have many
more wings for making our pictures. And
hence create many jobs. I think of the
Small is beautiful
The Dzangha-Ndoki National Park forms a unique
and outstanding scientific study area because of its
pristine condition and its location in the heart of the
Congo Basin rainforest.
© Philippe Annoyer
1...,66,67,68,69,70,71,72,73,74,75 77,78,79,80,81,82,83,84,85,86,...130
Powered by FlippingBook