As we approach the 53rd Earth Day this week, we are reminded of the role that our work continues to play in protecting bonobos and their habitat:
"For Earth Day 2022, we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet." [earthday.org]
Earlier this year, a team of representatives of BCI and our partner Vie Sauvage spent 15 days visiting and consulting with residents of Kokolopori and Likongo. We are laying the groundwork for securing the longevity and long-term prosperity of the Bonobo Peace Forest via REDD+ funding. An important step in this process is ensuring the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of local communities involved—enabling those impacted to control the way conservation and development projects are designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated.
The aim of these meetings was to raise awareness on REDD+ and its implications for communities of the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve and the Likongo community-based reserve project. The outreach team explained to the communities why they needed to learn about REDD+, how they could build on their own experience of interacting with nature and forest resources, how they could responsibly shape the future of their communities and how the issue of forest degradation and related greenhouse gas emissions is a topical issue of the utmost importance for the future of humanity. These concepts were delivered in French, and the local languages of Lingala and Longando.
The workshops drew more than 570 participants from 47 villages, and represented youth, women’s associations, members of administrative councils, and regional and village notables. The outreach team addressed concerns from the community about REDD+ projects and documented the priorities for conservation, livelihood, and sustainable development activities at Kokolopori and Likongo. Most significantly, these meetings confirmed that the communities with which BCI has been working for over two decades remain firmly committed to protecting their irreplaceable forests and the wildlife within.
We would not have been able to reach this point without our generous supporters. As always, thank you for standing with us…and please help BCI and our partners by spreading the word about our mission!
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