Community enterprises to reduce pressure on the Lomako Yokokala Wildlife Reserve

Bordering the Lomako forest, in the north-western region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a protected area straddling the provinces of Equateur, Tshuapa, and Mongala, created to protect ecosystems. Deep in the equatorial rainforest between the Lomako and Yokokala rivers, tributaries of the Maringa and Lopori in the Lolonga watershed, is home to several species, including bonobos, forest elephants, Congolese peacocks, and Bongo antelopes.

DRC’s Bili-Uele Has Potential to Help Fight the Climate Battle

In the heart of Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a cornerstone for global conservation, its lush landscapes teeming with unparalleled biodiversity. More than a sanctuary for the iconic wildlife of the African rainforests and savannahs, the Congo is a critical ally in the fight against climate change. The Uélé–Bili–Mbomu (UBM) landscape is nestled within this ecological marvel, a sprawling wilderness area covering over 100,000 square kilometers.

Eco-guard intergenerational footsteps inspire positive change in DRC

"No single dictionary in the world can define an eco-guard better than the valiant hero who, sacrificing his life, defends on behalf of biodiversity,” says Romain Kyandoghere, Domaine de Chasse de Bili-Uere Deputy Site Manager. “Trust me, I know what I'm talking about,” he continues, raising his shoulder slightly and flashing a confident smile.

Unsung heroes: Eco-guards monitoring DRC’s biodiversity

In the lead-up to World Ranger Day, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) explores and celebrates the stories of selfless men and women who have committed their lives to ensuring wildlife and wild lands thrive while keeping people at the center of conservation where we work.

Conserving the Congo Basin rainforest to benefit the globe

We have sensitized fishers, hunters, and farmers to the benefits of informed, strategic land use, visiting villages to identify forest guides and train them in the use of GPS tools. We also help communities produce maps that allocate zones to specific uses (conservation, sustainable forest harvesting, etc).
Take a deeper look
Community mapping

Ramping up anti-poaching and wildlife law enforcement

We help keep eyes on the forest, assisting with ranger recruitment and training while providing financial and technical support for patrols. In Bili-Uele, we helped the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (which acts as the country’s wildlife authority) create a rapid-response anti-poaching team of 42 eco-guards.

Learn how we empower eco-guards
Eco guard closing ceremony

Reducing unsustainable agriculture practices in Bili-Uele

Slash-and-burn agriculture is one of the greatest threats facing this landscape. Starting in 2021, we began a program to sensitize local communities to the benefits of farming sustainability. Farmers are reporting higher yields and a better understanding of why protecting biodiversity is important to their everyday lives.

Find out how we are helping farmers
Democratic republic of congo farm

Applying GIS technology for conservation decision-making

Fragmentation and other threats to bonobo popul­ations—forest conversion to agriculture and roads, as well as human encroachment into forests—can be mapped using long-term satellite imagery. Integrated with detailed information from ground surveys, the spatial data acquired enables us to create models that predict and track pressures on the land such as hunting activity.

Learn how GIS helps bonobos