Gorilla, Toussaint Molenge, DRC
Photo by Toussaint Molenge, DRC

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a vast country with an enormous wealth of natural resources. Its forests contain abundant biodiversity, including many endangered and endemic species. DRC is particularly significant for primate conservation, hosting three out of the four great apes species: gorilla, chimpanzees and bonobos. However, habitat destruction and bushmeat hunting pose a severe threat to biodiversity in DRC, and in particular to the survival of the endangered species that inhabit it. While DRC is considered the richest country in the world in terms of natural resources, its citizens are among the poorest. Years of civil war, weak governance and widespread corruption have resulted in political insecurity, lack of infrastructure and mounting human pressure on biodiversity.

In response to this, the Poverty and Conservation Learning Group (PCLG) established a national group in DRC in 2014, to bring together DRC conservation and development practitioners to share their experiences and to work together to better inform poverty and conservation policy and practice in DRC.

Whilst working towards the broader aims of the PCLG, the DRC network will:

  • Share information on who is doing what and where in DRC with regards to great apes conservation-poverty issues.
  • Maintain a DRC PCLG mailing list as a way of communicating information on relevant issues in real time and foster partnership amongst group members.
  • Broaden its membership, to include more representatives from the government, development and private sectors.
  • Carry out small research and communication activities (for example, the initial consultation process suggested a clear demand for an improved understanding of the current legislation on great apes conservation and poverty issues in DRC, highlighting gaps and problems in the legislation, and conducting activities to raise awareness of the legislation’s content amongst conservation and development practitioners, as well as at the community level).

Toussaint Molenge will act as focal point for the group based in Kinshasa, with administrative support from CODHOD. Join us and become a member.


Linking great ape conservation and poverty alleviation in DRC 2014

On 21st - 22nd of May 2014, a workshop took place in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which brought together people working on conservation and development issues in DRC, with a focus on the conservation of great apes. The workshop revolved around a number of distinct themes and topics. Day One mainly focused on learning from each other, with a series of project level presentations made. On Day two, participants explored relevant national processes relating to poverty and conservation and developed a way forward for advancing the learning into the future.

More about the meeting, reports and presentations.


Great ape conservation and poverty reduction

DRC PCLG is one of the beneficiaries of wider support provided to the PCLG by the Arcus Foundation. Under this grant, IIED has explored the need for setting up other national chapters of the PCLG, beyond the already established groups in Uganda and Cameroon. The work in DRC revolves around the following main activities:

  • Explore the interest and need for setting up a national DRC PCLG group.
  • Hold a scoping meeting in DRC with conservation and development practitioners.
  • Explore specific research and communication needs that could be addressed by a DRC chapter of the PCLG.

This project started in April 2013 and runs to April 2016.

DRC PCLG meetings


Other resources



For more information about DRC PCLG (including how to join for those based in DRC), please contact us.


DRC PCLG is funded by the Arcus Foundation and by UK aid from the UK Government. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the UK Government or of the Arcus Foundation.

About us

The Poverty and Conservation Learning Group is an international network of organisations that promotes learning on the linkages between biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction.

More about us

IIED The Poverty and Conservation Learning Group is a project coordinated by IIED.

UK AidArcus foundation

This website is funded by UK aid and the Arcus Foundation. The views expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of these organisations.

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