top of page
  • Writer's pictureFriends of Bonobos

Envisioning the Future of the Bonobo Reserve

With BIOPAMA support, Ekolo team develops goals to enhance biodiversity protection at Ekolo ya Bonobo
a group of people sitting inside a room discussing
Collaborators work together to evaluate and plan for Ekolo ya Bonobo

As part of planning for the future expansion of Ekolo ya Bonobo Community Reserve (EBCR), Friends of Bonobos of the Congo (ABC) completed its first management effectiveness evaluation in December 2021. The evaluation identifies key areas of focus for improving and advancing biodiversity protection at the 120,000-acre site in Équateur Province.

Bonobos rehabilitated at Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary were first returned to the wild at Ekolo in 2009. A second reintroduction is slated for completion in the spring of 2022.


The review was possible due to a grant from the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Program, (BIOPAMA) a collaboration of the European Union and Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.

ABC collaborates with the local communities and with the Congolese Nature Conservation Institute (ICCN) on the operation of Ekolo, so representatives from all stakeholders took part in the six-day planning workshop. The team used the international assessment standard called the IMET (Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool).

The workshop at the basecamp in Elonda, near the reserve, was led by two ICCN coaches trained by BIOPAMA. ABC’s department chiefs and two representatives from each of the three partner communities participated as well.