Save Endangered Bonobos in the Congo Rainforest

 
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May 11, 2011

BCI Helps DRC Take Huge Step in Protecting Bonobos

BCI & provincial police bonobo orphan rescue
BCI & provincial police bonobo orphan rescue

BCI has been working closely with the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to develop an mandate for bonobo protection.  This has resulted in an an official letter that has been distributed to political and administrative authorities of all provinces requesting a formal involvement in protecting bonobos and their natural habitat.

This important decision was influenced by the fact that there is a large population of rare and endangered species found only in the DRC.  The majority of these species are unknown to many, particularly the bonobo, and are on the verge of extinction.  The DRC rainforest is the second largest on the planet and covers 232.2 million acres, which represents half of the country.  DRC is committed to converting 15% of this territory into nationally protected areas. 

The bonobo is endangered due to illegal bushmeat hunting, despite the legal texts prohibiting such activities, including law number 82-002 (May 28, 1982) on the regulation of hunting and The Washington Convention (March 3, 1973) on the international trade of endangered fauna and flora.

The proposal set forth by the Vice Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior (025/CAB/VPM/INTERSEC/195/11) also called on police and intelligence service authorities to take all possible measures to protect the bonobo and other rare species that are found only in the DRC, which are considered part of the country’s national heritage. The DRC government depends on the efforts of the Bonobo Conservative Initiative (BCI), as we work in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Tourism and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) to protect the bonobo and its natural rainforest habitat.

Kokolopori bonobos
Kokolopori bonobos
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Project Leader

Sally Coxe

Washington, DC United States

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