Coltan is a metallic ore that is mined both in and out of Africa and can be found within many electronic devices such as mobile phones. The mining of coltan within the Congo River Basin is contributing to forest loss and unrest in the region, and is accelerating the loss of mountain gorillas at an alarmingly fast rate. You can help save gorillas in the wild simply by recycling your old phone
Whilst efforts are being made to tackle this issue, the majority of the worlds known coltan reserves are found within Africa, and mining within gorilla habitat continues. It is very difficult to know which phones contain coltan mined from Africa, however every phone can help save gorillas when donated to They’re Calling on You.
The program hopes to raise awareness of coltan mining crisis, whilst exposing the link between mobile phones and primate species in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as well as:
- lessen the demand for coltan mining in gorilla habitat
- raise money to support primate conservation
- divert phones from landfill
Facilitating Conservation Action
Zoos Victoria makes helping to save gorillas easy by supplying postage-paid recycling satchels, online postage paid labels and free courier pick up for organisations and schools collecting mobile phones.
Funds generated through the refurbishment and resale of old phones through Aussie Recycling Program support both the Jane Goodall Institute’s work protecting wild gorilla populations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zoos Victoria’s ex-situ conservation programs.
As of December 2011 They’re Calling on You had collected more than 50,000 phones, generating more than $110,000 for primate conservation. More than 200 schools and organisations have signed up to become donors to the program. For latest results visit www.zoo.org.au/calling_on_you
They’re Calling on You funds are currently providing food rations and equipment to eco-guards who protect national parks and educate local communities in the DRC. Each phone donated through They’re Calling on You feeds an eco-guard for one day.
They’re Calling on You funds have resulted in:
- increased anti-poaching work in the Democratic Republic of Congo
- the confiscation of more than 2,000 poacher traps and snares
- a noticeable reduction in the village market bush-meat trade
How Can You Help?
It’s really easy to support They’re Calling on You. You can:
- collect a recycling satchel from a Zoos Victoria property
- download and print a postage-paid label
- run a collection drive of mobile phones and get free courier pick-up. Contact Zoos Victoria Foundation
- E: firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: (03) 9340 2770