A breakthrough year!
Dear Friends,
We’re thrilled to announce that 2022 has been a breakthrough year for BCI! Thanks to your dedicated support, we have made major strides toward securing long-term, sustainable protection for the Bonobo Peace Forest.

This progress couldn’t come at a better time. Over the past two decades, the Democratic Republic of Congo has lost more than 65,000 square miles of tree cover, roughly the area of New York and New Jersey combined. Deforestation has surged over the last two years.

The Congo rainforest is the only home of endangered bonobos. It is vital in mitigating climate change and in providing clean air and water for the entire planet. By working together, we can ensure that the bonobos and their forest survive—and thrive!—for generations to come.
Bonobo in tree facing camera
Cobain of the Nkokoalongo group
The Power of Teamwork
Bonobos are renowned for their cooperative society. Following the bonobos’ example, we have always believed that collaboration is the key to succeeding in our mission.

More than twenty years ago, BCI and local Congolese partners developed the concept of the Bonobo Peace Forest: a network of community-managed reserves in the bonobo habitat, addressing conservation and humanitarian needs simultaneously. Since then, we have secured official protection for nearly nine million acres of land. But this is just the beginning.
Six people standing around table
AMAR's DRC coordinator (second from right) with BCI team
This year, we have teamed up with some incredible partners in order to take the Bonobo Peace Forest to the next level.
  • With Carbon Streaming Corporation, Future Carbon, and Fanfare Verte, we are developing sustainable support for the Bonobo Peace Forest through REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) carbon credit financing.
  • The Nature Conservancy is supporting our efforts to officially protect the Lilungu forest through an Africa Forest Carbon Catalyst grant.
  • We have also formed two new public/private partnerships with the ICCN (Insitut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) for delegated management of the Kokolopori and Sankuru reserves.
  • AMAR (Action Massive Rurale), a Congolese NGO, is galvanizing community engagement to prepare for REDD+.
2022 Bonobo Peace Forest Highlights
Here is some of the progress that you have helped make possible:
People at table reviewing documents
Sankuru Nature Reserve
Together with AMAR and our local partners, we have engaged more than 400 villages throughout the reserve who wish to participate in the REDD+ project. Sankuru communities and the provincial government have responded enthusiastically to this new opportunity. Currently, we have twelve teams in the field who are working with local people to establish fair and cooperative organizational structures for the next phase of conservation and community development work.

Pictured above: one of many community consultations for the Sankuru REDD+ project
Six people standing and smiling
Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve
REDD+ activities are also getting underway in Kokolopori. Additionally, our partnership with scientists from Harvard University continues to provide invaluable information about bonobos and their behaviors. Meanwhile, actor and activist Ashley Judd and the UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) are helping to establish a new maternity ward in the health clinic.

Pictured above: BCI partners with Harvard scientists at Kokolopori
Two men sitting at desk
The Nature Conservancy is partnering with BCI to help preserve this critical region within the bonobo habitat. Lilungu is a haven for bonobo protection that links a vital biodiversity corridor. Together with our community partners, we are scaling up conservation activities and working to secure official protection for the forest.

Pictured above: BCI advisor, Dr. Mbangi Mulavwa (right) meets with the administrator of the Ikela territory about the Lilungu project
Community meeting
Likongo, Lingomo, Nkokolombo
Together, these three connected forests are known as “LiLiKo” and we call their conservation leaders our Three Musketeers. LiLiKo communities are working together on participatory mapping to determine boundaries of their forests, the next important step in their protection.

Pictured above: Jean Gaston Ndombasi leading a community meeting at Likongo earlier this year
  • 2022 Slideshow
    Enjoy a slideshow of this year's activities in the Bonobo Peace Forest!

Our Most Valuable Teammate
While the support of our partner organizations is a huge boost, we still need our most valuable teammate—you! By helping protect bonobos and their irreplaceable habitat in the Congo Basin, you are helping protect all life on Earth.

Thank you for all you do to help save our sister species. Please show your support for bonobos by donating at Your partnership makes all the difference.

With deepest gratitude,

Sally Jewell Coxe

P.S. Did you know that BCI celebrates its 25th anniversary next year? Follow @bonobodotorg on social media and stay tuned for exciting special events!