Bonobo (Pan paniscus) Conservation Strategy 2012–2022

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4.8 Priorities for the First Year of Implementation of the Conservation Strategy

As noted above, many bonobo conservation projects exist, several of which have been operational 

for many years. Therefore, one of the main objectives of this plan is to set a strategic framework for 

bonobo conservation in order to federate the efforts of all the actors, and in this way improve the 

coherence and effectiveness of bonobo conservation activities.

Due to the limited time during the Kinshasa workshop, it was not possible to elaborate detailed 

activities and workplans for the five strategies identified. The first year of implementation of this 

plan should therefore focus on joint planning of priority interventions. In the case of new activities, 

it will be necessary to refine intervention strategies and develop project proposals for submission 

to funding agencies. In the case of existing activities, it will be a question of pursuing the activities 

underway with the resources available.

During the first year, priority should be given to the following actions:


Decide, in full consultation with all stakeholders, upon the coordination mechanism for imple-

mentation of the bonobo conservation strategy. Discussions could take place in conjunction with 

a meeting of the CoCoCongo. During these discussions, stakeholders will also decide how joint 

funding proposals will be prepared and joint projects implemented.

Strategy 1 Strengthening institutional capacity for law enforcement and sustainable management 

of forest diversity

•  Continue activities in support of the management of existing and proposed PAs 

(capacity building and support for antipoaching and biomonitoring (LEM), manage-

ment plans, antipoaching, community conservation, etc.)

•  Lobbying military authorities regarding the illegal circulation of automatic weapons 

•  Lobbying provincial governments to introduce closed hunting periods

•  Engage with logging companies active in the region with a view to establishing col-

laborative agreements for wildlife management in their concessions

Strategy 2 Consultation and collaboration with local actors

•  Identify priority areas for land-use and macro-zoning plans and begin to collect the 

relevant information about the areas in question (ecological, social, economic)

•  Elaborate a detailed plan for interventions aimed at improving the sustainability of 

subsistence activities. It is essential to clearly define the scope of the interventions and 

to remain coherent with respect to the capacity and resources available. It will not be 

possible to resolve all problems, so the approach should be realistic and pragmatic. 

These discussions should involve all partners

Strategy 3 Awareness building and lobbying

•  Elaborate a detailed awareness-building and lobbying strategy, clearly defining the 

target groups, the objectives to be achieved and methods of intervention with respect 

to each target group. The roles and contributions of the various partners should also 

be clearly defined and the strategy should include a monitoring plan to evaluate the 

impact of the interventions (indicators, attitude surveys before and after, etc.)

•  Elaborate a detailed programme of activities to submit to funding agencies

Strategy 4 Research and monitoring activities

•  Draw up an overall bonobo monitoring framework that includes:

•  Population and distribution surveys (full surveys of each site every 5 years)

•  Threats monitoring (signs of hunting, illegal logging, habitat destruction and disease in 

both bonobos and humans at key bonobo sites)


•  Law enforcement monitoring (continuous, using SMART/MIST)

•  Elaborate a health monitoring, disease prevention and emergency intervention plan to 

address eventual outbreaks

Strategy 5 Sustainable funding

Start the process of evaluating the long-term financial needs for bonobo conservation. This will 

involve producing business plans for all existing and proposed PAs and their buffer zones, includ-

ing community conservation activities, and estimating the operational costs for nationwide activi-

ties such as public awareness and lobbying.

Adult female bonobo with her 

infant at Wamba © Takeshi 


Bonobo orphans – victims of 

the bushmeat trade – with their 

carers at Lola ya Bonobo © Liz 


Synthesis of Priority Actions for Year 1


1st quarter

2nd quarter

3rd quarter

4th quarter


Establish coordination mechanism

Strategy 1 Strengthening institutional capacities for conservation of bonobos and their habitat

Continue actions in support of PA management

Lobby military authorities on the issue of circulation of automatic weapons

Lobby provincial governments to institute closed hunting seasons

Contact logging companies regarding collaboration for wildlife management

Consolidate existing data on bonobo populations

Design a programme of surveys for priority zones

Elaborate and submit funding proposals

Strategy 2 Consultation and collaboration with local actors

Identify priority zones for land-use and macro-zoning plans

Design detailed plans for interventions targeting improved sustainability of subsistence activities

Strategy 3 Awareness building and lobbying

Design a detailed awareness-building and lobbying strategy

Elaborate and submit funding proposals

Strategy 4 Research and monitoring

Develop a framework for monitoring bonobo population size and distribution, threats and law enforcement activities (LEM)

Establish a system for data storage and analysis (MIST or SMART)

Elaborate a health monitoring, disease prevention and emergency intervention plan to address eventual outbreaks

Strategy 5 Sustainable funding

Assess funding needs (business plans for PAs, nationwide interventions)

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