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Save the Eastern African Gorilla

Recycing gadgets and phones to save the Congo

Every mobile phone contains a substance called coltan. This mineral is found in the forests of central Africa. The coltan mining business is booming and as a result much of the forest has been erased. Many animals have also been slaughtered as part of this mining and people have been illegally selling ape meat so they can profit further from the change in landscape and the wildlife that used to call the forest their home.

Incredibly more than ten thousand illegal miners have made their way to protected parts of Africa as a result of the ever-growing need for mobile phones. This mining and the effects it has on the landscape has meant that gorilla populations have declined while the price of coltan gets higher and higher because of the increased demand.

Eliminating The Need For Coltan

If we are to eliminate the need for coltan, then we need to find another substance that will do the same job. Until then, all we can do is sell and recycle our mobile phones so less coltan is mined. Unfortunately coltan is non-renewable, so when it's gone, it's gone and there's nothing we can do.

Because of the changes in technology and bigger, better and faster mobile phones are entering the market almost every month; this has reduced the lifespan of each phone to just 14 month, after which they are usually left in a drawer or cupboard somewhere before eventually being thrown away with the household rubbish.

Many campaign groups, charities and websites are all too aware of the need for coltan and similar substances, but they are working hard to make a change. Some of these charities work directly with manufacturers to ensure they encourage their customers to recycle their unwanted phones and given them to people in poorer countries. These charities also work hard to conserve areas that should flourish and be home to many species of animals, but are in fact under threat from mining.