FUNDS were raised at a concert in Bahrain to provide aid for widows of rangers killed while protecting a World Heritage Site in April.
The rangers were ambushed within the central sector of the Virunga National Park, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and mentioned in the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger since 1994.
Musicians Without Borders, an ensemble of five musicians of different nationalities, performed at Arcapita in Bahrain Bay last night.
A minute’s silence was observed at the opening of the 42nd World Heritage Committee (WHC) meeting on Monday in memory of people who lost their lives in the line of duty.
“Congo has five sites on World Heritage Sites in Danger list following conflict in the country and this year we had a very difficult situation in several of the Congolese sites,” said Unesco natural heritage expert Guy Debonnet.
The eastern part of Congo, where four of the sites are located, has been plagued by civil war since 1996.
Petya Totcharova, from the Unesco-WHC secretariat, said the idea behind the Fallen Rangers Fund is to provide funds towards building a sustainable life for families hit by tragedy.
Families of the victims welcomed at the move.
“It is important that from a place like Bahrain – which is far away – Bahraini authorities and the Unesco family care about them and are willing to help them,” Congolese Institute for Conservation of Nature Pasteur Dr Cosma Wilungula Balongwela told the GDN.
The event was organised by the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (Baca) in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and the Congolese Institute for Conservation of Nature.
A hashtag #HelpVirunga was also launched and donations are accepted on the following website http://virunga.org/donate/