Partner Profile: Mbou Mon Tour
Mbou Mon Tour is a group of communities working in Mai Ndombe, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to protect forests and savannah, which are home to Bonobos and other small primates, and carry out nature-friendly development activities to alleviate poverty and malnutrition. In many parts of the DRC, Bonobos are hunted commercially for the bushmeat trade and subsistence. In Nkala and surrounding villages, the Batéké have a longstanding taboo on eating Bonobos. However, as other groups and logging companies have moved into the area, this taboo has become degraded and hunting (as well as agriculture) now threatens Bonobos and other wildlife.
In a bid to protect the Bonobos and their forest-savannah home, MMT has established an awareness-raising programme in local villages to revive the bushmeat taboo; set up a network of six community-protected forest areas; employed local villagers as Bonobo trackers; and developed small-scale development activities. In 2019, after several years of work, MMT secured official recognition for the communities’ forests as community-protected forests under Article 22 of the Congolese Forest Code. This is one of the few cases we know of where this law has been used primarily for biodiversity conservation. Synchronicity Earth has provided core and programme support to MMT since 2016.