acclaimed author Deni Béchard first learned of the last living
bonobos—matriarchal great apes that are, alongside the
chimpanzee, our closest relatives in the animal kingdom—he 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
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.
Empty Hands, Open Arms
The Race to Save Bonobos in the Congo and Make Conservation Go Viral
by Deni Bechard
Milkweed Editions, 2013
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