Empty Hands, Open Arms: The Race to Save Bonobos in the Congo and Make Conservation Go Viral

Empty Hands, Open Arms: The Race to Save Bonobos in the Congo and Make Conservation Go Viral

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 1571313400

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


When acclaimed author Deni Béchard first learned of the last living bonobos—matriarchal great apes that are, alongside the chimpanzee, our closest relatives in the animal kingdom—he was completely astonished. How could the world possibly accept the extinction of this majestic species?

Béchard discovered one relatively small NGO, the Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI), which has done more to save bonobos than many far larger organizations. Based on the author’s extensive travels in the Congo and Rwanda, this book explores BCI's success, offering a powerful, truly postcolonial model of conservation. In contrast to other traditional conservation groups Béchard finds, BCI works closely with Congolese communities, addressing the underlying problems of poverty and unemployment, which lead to the hunting of bonobos. By creating jobs and building schools, they gradually change the conditions that lead to the eradication of the bonobos.

This struggle is far from easy. Devastated by the worst military conflict since World War II, the Congo and its forests continue to be destroyed by aggressive logging and mining. Béchard's fascinating and moving account—filled with portraits of the extraordinary individuals and communities who make it all happen offers a rich example of how international conservation must be reinvented before it's too late.

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But if it was an albino, it might simply be sensitive to the direct sunlight of the high canopy. The trackers also insisted that a second bonobo in the group had two white stripes on its back, one on either side. We continued, but we saw only bonobo prints in the mud. Finally, after four days in the forest, I had to meet up with Sally and Michael. They would already be in Djolu to meet an Australian crew from VisionQuest who had arranged with BCI to fly in to Djolu. They intended to shoot a.

Rares du Sud-Est de Équateur Protection for the Ecosystem and Rare Species of Southeast Équateur PNP Partie Nationale du Peuple National People’s Party RCD Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie Rally for Congolese Democracy REDD Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation RPA Rwandan Patriotic Army RPF Rwandan Patriotic Front TL2 Tshuapa Lomami Lualaba USAID United States Agency for International Development WCS Wildlife Conservation.

Http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/mozambique/10028738/Last-rhinos-in-Mozambique-killed-by-poachers.html; Jon Herskovitz, “Despite Armed Guards, Africa’s Rhinos Losing Battle to Poachers,” Reuters, April 11, 2013, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/11/us-safrica-rhinos-idUSBRE93A0WP20130411. 152And as a resultGuy Cowlishaw and Robin Dunbar write, “Populations have less genetic flexibility with which to respond to changes in environmental conditions, thus making.

Use, five men looking closely at the engine. One wheel was off, and a young man was cutting squares from old rubber tubing with a handsaw to patch leaks in the tire’s inner tube. Marie-Claire, whose round face had quickly regained its smile, began reciting prices, speaking Lingala though the numbers were in French, as was the word franc. “No, no, no, no,” Sally said, then answered in Lingala. From Marie-Claire’s expression and bits of French, I could tell that Sally was saying the prices were.

Instability and poverty—bonobos would be next in line for extermination; then she would pause, derailed by the thought of how much she had to do, and switch the conversation to the to-do list in her head. This happened often on our trip as well. “I learned more about my own nature reading about great apes,” she said, “than in years of psychology courses. In bonobos, I saw a creature so much like us, one that has learned to cooperate—the closest thing to us on the planet, mirroring a side of.

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