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When acclaimed author Deni Béchard first learned of the last living bonobosmatriarchal great apes that are, alongside the chimpanzee, our closest relatives in the animal kingdomhe was completely astonished. How could the world possibly accept the extinction of this majestic species?
Béchard discovered one relatively small NGO, the Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI), which has done more to save bonobos than many far larger organizations. Based on the author’s extensive travels in the Congo and Rwanda, this book explores BCI's success, offering a powerful, truly postcolonial model of conservation. In contrast to other traditional conservation groups Béchard finds, BCI works closely with Congolese communities, addressing the underlying problems of poverty and unemployment, which lead to the hunting of bonobos. By creating jobs and building schools, they gradually change the conditions that lead to the eradication of the bonobos.
This struggle is far from easy. Devastated by the worst military conflict since World War II, the Congo and its forests continue to be destroyed by aggressive logging and mining. Béchard's fascinating and moving account—filled with portraits of the extraordinary individuals and communities who make it all happen offers a rich example of how international conservation must be reinvented before it's too late.
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Deni Béchard's first novel, Vandal Love, won the 2007 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. He has also authored a memoir, Cures for Hunger, and written for a number of magazines and newspapers, among them the LA Times, Salon, Outside, the National Post, VQR, Maisonneuve, Le Devoir, the Harvard Review, and the Harvard Divinity Bulletin . He has been a fellow at MacDowell, Jentel, the Edward Albee Foundation, Ledig House, the Anderson Center, and Vermont Studio Center, among others. He has done freelance reporting from Northern Iraq as well as from Afghanistan, and he has traveled in more than fifty countries.
Table of Contents
Prologue: February 2012 ix
Part I From Iowa to the Bonobos of Équateur
Naked Apes, Furry Apes, Godlike Apes 5
Mbandaka to Djolu 39
A Sense of Place 53
The Bonobos of Kokolopori 67
Part II Grass Roots
Albert Lotana Lokasola 85
From Slave State to Failed State 95
Sally Jewell Coxe 109
Africa's Great War 123
Michael Hurley 139
Economics around the Campfire 149
Human Cultures and Cultured Animals 163
Territory and Power 177
Part III Sankuru
Andre Tusumba 189
Defending the Vocation 203
Viral Conservation 221
The River 239
Epilogue: The Red Queen 251
Author's Note 327