Created in 1997 by Batéké respecting a strong traditional food prohibition concerning the bonobo, the NGO Mbou-Mon-Tour (MMT) aims to associate community conservation of bonobos, preservation of the environment and local development, in a landscape atypical forest-savanna mosaic.
In 2001, MMT surprised the scientific world by the announcement of the presence of bonobos in the Territory of Bolobo, a region located about 300 km north of Kinshasa, where they were thought extinct. Despite the initial lack of attention to the initiative, but with widespread local support from traditional chiefs and local people, MMT began sensitization campaigns to protect bonobos in the area.
AREA OF INTERVENTION AND PROBLEMATIC
Just 300 km north of Kinshasa and Brazzaville, the territory of Bolobo is home to bonobos in a forest-savannah mosaic habitat. These bonobos are located outside a protected area, in a community conservation area whose process was initiated by local and national stakeholders in 2001.
Forests in the MMT area are currently under threat from human activities such as slash-and-burn agriculture by local residents, firewood harvesting, and coal production. of wood, with a view to resale towards Kinshasa and / or Brazzaville. These activities contribute to varying levels of destruction of bonobo habitat and biodiversity in general.
Specifically for bonobo, the threats to this species are less important than in other areas of the country where this primate is found. Indeed, the inhabitants of the territory of Bolobo have a tradition particularly favorable to the conservation of the species because they do not hunt it, this one being considered as an old human having joined the forest to escape a sanction related to a debt unpaid. Nevertheless, several cases of poaching have already been noted in the past.
VISION AND MISSION
MMT operates in Bolobo, in the province of Mai-Ndombe, about 300 km north of Kinshasa. The ambition of this NGO is to set up alternative livelihood activities decreasing the dependence of local populations on the forest (in response to a decrease in food resources observed by villagers since the 90s) and to promote the conservation of the bonobo by upgrading the local food ban and setting up community protection forests.
AREA OF INTERVENTION
Promotion of research, ecological monitoring and habituation of bonobos
MMT's establishment of community monitoring and surveillance sites for bonobos ensures forest protection and law enforcement through patrols of village trackers. The collection of field data by these trackers contributes to research on the lifestyles of bonobos groups in the area.The NGO works in partnership with WWF for the habituation of bonobos in certain sites and in an ecotourism perspective.
Poverty alleviation and food security
The habituation of groups of bonobos to the human presence allows to develop, in the long term, ecotourism activities in the area. Agricultural or livestock sectors are also developed by the NGO, with the local populations. The MMT farm, near the village of Nkala, is developing alternative livelihood activities.
Local Awareness and Environmental Education
Awareness campaigns to schools and local populations, including through music and popular songs, to warn residents on the alarming situation of bonobos and train them on issues of environmental protection.
Territorial Governance and Classification in Forests of Local Communities (FCL)
The support of local communities in the process of community forestry, by MMT, aims to promote better management of forest areas and wildlife by the communities themselves.The first community protection forest was implemented in the village of Nkala from 2001 and several villages followed in the following years. MMT has accompanied, and continues to accompany, the establishment of community protection forests whose rules have been developed progressively.