Malebo Ecotourism in DRC: sustainable management of natural resources and biodiversity - September 2019
In western DRC, just north of the capital Kinshasa, WWF and its partner, local
NGO Mbou Mon Tour (MMT) have laid the foundations for bonobo tourism in an area of the Mai Ndombe Province referred to as Malebo. Our decade-long engagement with local communities on community forestry and ecotourism, with CAFEC support has paid off. They have secured community forest concessions (CFCs) from the government and are reaping benefits from bonobo tourism (including the construction and staffing of a health clinic, refurbishing of a school and provision of education materials, training in handicrafts, and literacy skills).
At the heart of the collective effort to protect bonobos and preserve their habitat, there is a shared mission to enrich the lives of the local communities, including: the women, the Batwa indigenous people and the youth, by generating revenues through ecotourism initiatives that incorporate self-sustaining community projects. Therefore, each aspect of the project will provide diverse opportunities for capacity building, training, or employment benefitting the entire community (approximately 15,000 people in 13 villages). WWF has already engaged in consultations with them about this ;