From his early childhood in Kokolopori, Albert Lokasola knew it was his calling to protect his rainforest home. In 1999, he founded Vie Sauvage, a local Congolese organization dedicated to promoting wildlife and forest conservation. Vie Sauvage partnered with BCI to create the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve and is the reserve's designated manager, providing the lifesaving field teams who trek into the forest to observe and protect bonobos.
Even in the face of conflict, financial hardship, and difficult conditions, Vie Sauvage has been doing the hard and necessary work of daily, on-the-ground conservation.
Thanks to these tireless efforts, the United Nations Development Programme awarded Vie Sauvage the 2020 Equator Prize! We are thrilled for our Peace Forest partner and for this much-deserved recognition.
Indigenous knowledge is key to understanding the region's past and protecting its future. In Kokolopori, the Bongando people have many legends about the kinship between bonobos and humans. These traditions have led to a culture that respects and protects bonobos, including ancestral taboos against hunting them. For its Equator Prize project, Vie Sauvage is producing, with the help of both elders and students, a textbook of regional tales, proverbs, and legends about biodiversity and conservation. With your timely support, they can distribute these books to children in Kokolopori and the Djolu territory—and beyond!