PROTECTING BONOBOS — PRESERVING RAINFOREST — EMPOWERING PEOPLE

Latest News From BCI

A message of gratitude from actor, activist, and bonobo supporter Ashley Judd
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At current rates of deforestation, the Congo rainforest will be gone by 2100. And if that year seems to be in the distant future, consider that many of today’s kindergarteners will still be alive to see this complete destruction of what is currently the second largest rainforest on the planet. The good news? You can change the outcome.
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We are so excited to announce that there is a newly identified bonobo group in the Yetee forest of the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve! Members of the group were actually first observed in 2016, but trackers initially thought that the bonobos were members of the Bekako group. When research camp manager Anaïs van Cauwenberghe began tracking and naming the Bekako group, she quickly realized that the individuals in question belonged to a different group altogether. They were jokingly referred to as “fake Bekako” which then was shortened to “Fekako.”
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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!
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Today, a tracker got up hours before dawn. Packed a bag with a notebook, pencils, GPS, binoculars, food, water, and other essentials. Strapped on a headlamp and sturdy boots. Walked from camp deep into the forest, wading through rivers, chopping through vines with a machete, avoiding snakes and other dangers. Dismantled a snare and scanned the forest for poachers in hiding.
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Imagine a place where bonobos roam peacefully. Where millions of acres of rainforest are protected, keeping billions of tons of carbon out of our atmosphere. Where indigenous communities take the lead in conservation and benefit from sustainable sources of income, educational opportunity, and lifesaving services.
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How far we’ve come—thanks to you! We are so grateful for the 9 million acres of land protected, the bonobo orphans rescued, the lives changed for the better because YOU made the choice to support our work. We’re highlighting some of our favorite people, stories, and moments from the last twenty years—join our mailing list or follow us on social media for updates!
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A look at our year in pictures.
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