Located in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Lac Tumba region is an ecologically vibrant area containing a wide range of habitats and many wildlife species. BCI began work in Lac Tumba more than a decade ago, conducting surveys and Information Exchange to ascertain the presence of bonobos. In 2003, the USAID-funded Congo Basin Forest Partnership brought together several organizations, including BCI, to study and protect this vital corner of DRC.
Recognizing the importance of the Lac Tumba region, BCI has signed accords with the local communities to establish three linked community-based reserves in Botuali, Nkosso, and Mbie Mokele. Along with local partner Centre de Recherche en Écologie et Foresterie (CREF), BCI provides management and support for the monitoring teams who work daily to protect bonobos living in Lac Tumba forests. The people of the region are fighting the imminent encroachment of logging companies. Bushmeat hunting is also a serious threat to the local bonobo population. Though the challenges are great, excellent progress is being made—more than thirty Lac Tumba villages have pledged to stop hunting bonobos.