From the very beginning of the Bonobo Peace Forest, local communities have been leading the charge for rainforest conservation. The Peace Forest approach is holistic: conservation and humanitarian needs are addressed simultaneously. When people have access to healthcare, education, and economic opportunity, they have alternatives to poaching and deforestation for survival. By investing in people’s wellbeing, we are investing in the wellbeing of the forest and all its inhabitants. The Peace Forest builds more than reserves; it builds a conservation-centered way of life!
Our local leadership is incredible! We wish we could highlight every one of them (and there will be more to come!), but today we will restrain ourselves and introduce you to one of our very favorites…
Bijou Longenge Mpako was born and raised in Djolu, near what is now the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve. She knew she wanted to find a way to protect the forest she loved so dearly, but educational opportunities were scarce, especially for women, and travel difficult. Seeing her dedication, we awarded her a scholarship to study at ISDR-Djolu, a conservation college co-founded by BCI. She is now the Chief Logistician of the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve. She coordinates all the logistical needs of the monitoring teams, coordinates multiple weekly food transfers to the research camps, and provides essential reports for the entire reserve. Our field work is possible thanks to her, and her work is possible thanks to you!
Everyone can make a difference
When you support Bijou and other Congolese conservationists, you are supporting a brighter future for the Congo rainforest and all life on Earth. Please join our 20/20 campaign to fully fund our tracker program and essential field staff like Bijou. And please spread the word!