• Threatened species conservation

Community protection of bonobos and forests in the South Basankusu region

ICON/BTN/arrow/2/arrow-down Created with Sketch. Community protection of bonobos and forests in the South Basankusu region

The project is located in the north-west of the Democratic Republic of Congo, about 1,000 km from Kinshasa, in the regions of Basankusu and Bolomba (province of Equateur). It is carried by GACEBB, which has been working in the region since 2009, and takes place in 8 forest villages, (200 km²), located near Basankusu, 500 km from the capital of the Province, Mbandaka. He is the only actor in Congolese civil society active on conservation issues, permanently established in Basankusu, a particularly isolated area.

 

These forests support populations of bonobos, (Pan paniscus, EN), directly threatened by intensive hunting for bushmeat, poaching and slash-and-burn agriculture. Added to this is the establishment in the area of ​​logging companies, (often accompanied by illegal logging),and palm oil exploitation leading to the establishment of oil palm plantations in monoculture.

 

In the DRC, nature conservation is the responsibility of the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature, (ICCN), but the areas targeted by the project are not managed by ICCN. Lack of information on existing bonobo populations and levels of pressure makes it difficult to make decisions about putting in place measures to protect species and manage ecosystems.

 

GACEBB has already benefited from two PPI projects, (PPI 4.1 and 4.3), which have produced good results and whose main objectives were to protect wildlife and the bonobos, in particular, by directly associating traditional hunters and by offering populations alternatives. through the development of livestock and fish farming.

 

The overall objective of this project is to contribute to the participatory and integrated conservation of fauna species and more particularly of the bonobos of the ecosystems of Basankusu and Bolomba.

 

More specifically, the project aims to deepen the understanding of the conservation status of bonobos and other main large mammals and to clarify the threats weighing on them in the “Fondé” and “Soolo-Djulu” forests, to strengthen the degree of effective protection. bonobos in the intervention area and in forests recognized as priorities and finally to fundamentally secure forest areas for the benefit of local communities. GACEBB has received organizational support from Well Grounded and is also part of the PPI-funded “Central African Great Apes Alliance” (AGSAC).