Bonobo Peace Forest
The Bonobo Conservation Initiative (“BCI”) is developing two carbon credit projects in the Bonobo Peace Forest (“BPF”) located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The proposed REDD+ projects would mitigate current threats of deforestation and degradation through natural resource management of two distinct areas covering 67% of the BPF. The projects offer the potential to avoid significant greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years. In addition, the projects would help preserve the endangered bonobos, a great ape closely related to humans, by protecting their native rainforest habitat. The projects are also expected to generate multiple social and economic benefits for local communities.
The Bonobo Peace Forest projects are expected to cover a total of 6,611,831 hectares, located within the Sankuru Nature Reserve and the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve. Both projects are anticipated to be certified under Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). Carbon Streaming has a 5% royalty covering the carbon credit revenues generated from the Bonobo Peace Forest projects. The Company expects the royalty to lay the foundation for stream agreements on the two projects. Specific terms of definitive streaming agreements are expected to be determined once the initial feasibility study work has been completed.
The BPF is a unique biodiversity corridor of community-managed land in the Congo rainforest. The project includes two areas: Sankuru, which spans over three million hectares and contains some of the highest biomass forests in the Congo Basin and Kokolopori, which covers almost five hundred thousand hectares. The aim is to reduce deforestation and forest degradation through improved land use, including intensifying and diversifying agriculture, protecting against illegal commercial bushmeat hunting, and slowing forest loss caused by charcoal production and illegal logging.
As the namesake species of the BPF, bonobos are found only in the DRC and are renowned for their peaceful, cooperative society. They are threatened by illegal but widespread hunting for bushmeat. BCI team members thwart poachers and gather critical information about bonobos and their behavior. The Kokolopori reserve has one of the world’s largest known bonobo populations with the bonobos here uniquely habituated to the presence of humans, affording incredible opportunities for scientific research and ecotourism. The BPF is also home to multiple additional species listed on the IUCN Red List.
The Bonobo Peace Forest projects intend to provide a multitude of community benefits including employing local Congolese residents as field team members, providing education for the next generation of conservationists and promoting programs that benefit women and help support the community at large. A portion of the revenue from the sale of carbon credits would be used to improve infrastructure, including new buildings and updated communications technology.
Carbon Streaming has made an investment in the Bonobo Peace Forest projects, which will be directed to prepare feasibility studies and establish initial project activities. It also has entered into a 5% royalty agreement covering the carbon credit revenues generated by the Bonobo Peace Forest projects.
BCI, established in 1998, champions a community-based conservation approach in which local people steward their own natural resources. BCI operates the largest bonobo conservation program in the world, with unmatched local community and governmental support. The BCI team brings extensive management experience in REDD+ project development. BCI and partners have executed multiple carbon credit and conservation projects around the globe, including validation of the first REDD+ project under the Verified Carbon Standard of Verra in the DRC. BCI has earned a strong reputation for its commitment to making community development a centerpiece of sustainable conservation efforts.