Wild Safe cocao cooperatives will benefit bonobos, chimpanzees, orangutans, humans and:
These NGOs believe local leadership is the most effective and enduring conservation path.
They're all seasoned conservationists whose effective work engages and incentivizes local communities to protect wildlife and habitat.
When Mike Korchinsky, the Wildlife Works founder went to Africa in 1996, his entire life changed when he saw majestic but frightened wild animals behind electric fences and then learned these animals were being hunted by poor locals who poached them to eat their meat and sell their hides and that trees were being destroyed for fuel. Rather than trying to force change on Africans, the next year he established Wildlife Works.
Their DR Congo project protects 750,000 acres of rainforest along the west side of Lake Mai Ndombe. Formerly zoned for logging, this huge forest is home to chimpanzees, bonobos and forest elephants, and includes some of the most important wetlands in the world. It is also home to over 180,000 people. These logging companies largely ignored the rights and health of the community and the wildlife, resulting in severe environmental damage. It brought little or no economic benefit to the local people and drove already threatened wildlife populations down. In 2008, following a governmental revision of the DRC National Forest Code logging contracts were suspended in an effort to address corruption in the sector.
Founded by Sally Jewell Coxe, BCI is the only international organization solely dedicated to protecting wild bonobos and their rainforest habitat in the DR Congo.
Inspired by the collaborative and cooperative nature of bonobos. the Bonobo Conservation Initiative manages a 50,000 square mile forest, the 'Bonobo Peace Forest', which nurtures local humans and the wild primates.
The bonobo estimated population numbers range between just 29,500 to 50,000 remaining individuals.
Bonobos are one of humankind’s closest living relatives, yet most people are not even aware bonobos exist. These great apes are complex beings who show remorse, have been taught sign language and possess profound intelligence, emotional expression and sensitivity.
The most unusual and compelling feature of bonobos is their society–matriarchal, egalitarian, and peaceful. Bonobos are also well-known for their creative and abundant sexual activity. Their gentle and amorous nature has led some people to call them the “Make Love, Not War” primate. The last great ape species discovered, bonobos could be the first to become extinct unless concerted action is taken now to protect them and their rainforest home. Bonobo researchers face extraordinary challenges due to the political instability of the DRC, the location of wild bonobos deep in the Congo Basin, and the lack of funding for research initiatives.
It starts with Jane and leads to you.
Dr. Jane Goodall went into the forest to study the remarkable lives of chimpanzees—and she came out of the forest to save them. When she discovered the survival of their species was threatened by habitat destruction and illegal trafficking, Dr. Goodall developed a breakthrough approach to species conservation that improves the lives of people, animals and the environment by honoring their connectedness to each other.
In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute to ensure her vision and life’s work continue to mobilize the collective power of individual action to save the natural world we all share. Your support helps advance Jane’s vision and work around the world as a force of compassion for all living things.
JGI focuses on tangible successes that give people reason to hope—and act—for a better world. In East Africa and the Congo Basin, we work with local communities to address their needs and minimize the underlying threats to chimpanzee habitats in the surrounding area.
Fuel Efficient Stove Project
One of the greatest threats to our planet for people and wildlife, and largest contributor to climate change, is loss of forest habitat. One of the biggest factors contributing to habitat loss is deforestation as a result of wood cutting for fire fuel. Unfortunately, in almost every culture, and especially in areas with higher levels of poverty, fire is an absolute necessity – for cooking, heating, lighting, and hundreds of other purposes. So, they created a new stove to use less firewood and burn more effectively than conventional three-stone cooking stoves.
These new 'rock' stoves also emit less smoke, reduce air pollution and decrease the number of respiratory infections.
The time saved, in addition to all of the other benefits of these stoves, allows people to concentrate on various activities like sustainable gardening, instructing others on the creation of “rocket” stoves, or agroforestry – all of which serve as mobility away from poverty and toward a successful coexistence with the natural world.
Our Wild Safe cocao cooperatives will also benefit orangutans living in Sumatra and Borneo by supporting The Orangutan Project and the Orang Utan Repulik Foundation.
In 1998, orangutan expert Leif Cocks established The Orangutan Project after a 30 year career working with his favorite ape. He also authored Orangutans and their Battle for Survival and Orangutans My Cousins, My Friends. Leif also serves as President of International Elephant Project, President of International Tiger Project, Vice President of Orang Utan Republik Foundation and serves on the Advisory Board for Forest, Nature and Environment of Aceh.
Gary L. Shapiro, Ph.D. co-founded the Orang Utan Republik Foundation. He began his involvement with orangutans 44 years ago in the field of primate cognition and learning. He was first to teach a symbolic communication system to an orangutan and is the first to have taught sign language to orangutans in the species’ natural environment, the forests of Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesian Borneo.
During his time in Indonesian Borneo, Shapiro assisted in the rehabilitation efforts of dozens of orangutans confiscated from the illegal pet trade and monitored the phenology of local rain forest ecosystem.
Shapiro was the co-founder and vice president of the Orangutan Foundation International from 1986-2004 where he administered and oversaw the activities supporting research and conservation in and around Tanjung Puting National Park. He participated in the 1993 Population and Habitat Viability Assessment in Sumatra and authored or co-authored various papers on orangutan linguistics, cognition, conservation and ethics.
In late 2004, Dr. Shapiro and his Indonesian wife, Inggriani, were inspired to create the Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative (OUREI), a nonprofit project (operating under Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs), in response to the education needs underscoring the crisis facing orangutans today, particularly in Sumatra. In Sumatra, the orangutan is Critically Endangered. In 2007, the Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) and OUREI Indonesia (OUREII) were established as legal organizations to support the programs of OUREI in Indonesia. Shapiro oversees the activities of OURF and OUREII.
One of the orangutans, Princess, adopted Shapiro as her father. Shapiro was able to teach Princess over 30 signs which she used to express her interests in obtaining items and activities of interest as well as describing her environment. Princess also joined seven other orangutans in a study of sign learning which became Shapiro's dissertation project.
ABOUT ORANGUTANS Orangutans are the slowest reproducing species in the world, and as such are highly prone to extinction; we could lose them in our lifetime.
Leif Cocks says "We are told it is 'wildlife versus people’, or ‘the environment versus the economy’. Both these statements are false. The rainforest not only benefits the orangutans, but all wildlife that they live alongside, in the most biodiverse ecosystem in the world. The rainforest also benefits indigenous communities, that rely on the rainforest and local communities, that rely on the ecosystem - services that the rainforest supplies for sustainable agriculture.
The conversion of rainforest to unsustainable forms of agriculture, such as palm oil and pulp paper, is only economical by passing the ‘true cost of production’ onto the powerless. This heavily impacts indigenous communities, local communities, a sustainable economy for Indonesia and global effects for all future generations.
The real question is – do we let a few greedy people get rich at the expense of the many?
Extinction in the wild is likely in the next 10 years for Sumatran Orangutans and soon after for Bornean Orangutans. The Sumatran species (Pongo abelii) is Critically Endangered and the Bornean species (Pongo pygmaeus) of orangutans is Endangered according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
The Sumatran and Bornean Orangutans' rainforest habitats are disappearing at an alarming rate due to deforestation and clearing of the land for pulp paper and palm oil plantations, with the remaining forest degraded by drought and forest fires".