Preserving the Nsoli Na Mato Rainforest, Lac Tumba

This project began as a dream of Godi Godar Moteke Molanga to draw awareness to the devastation that logging and “conflict minerals” extraction is wreaking on other areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the goal of raising support to preserve his people’s ancestral land from that devastation. The Nsoli Na Mato rainforest is home to a diverse and important ecosystem, including many endangered plants and animals and one of the most resilient to climate change and our vision is to prevent this ecosystem from being harmed. We consider humans an integral part of the ecosystem and our vision also includes humanitarian aid, supporting sustainable and healthy lives for the people currently living there.

Importance of the Lac Tumba Region for conservation: The Lac Tumba region of the Congo is located in the northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the Bikoro Territory of Équateur Province. This region is at the heart of the Congo basin and includes both swamp and rainforest habitat. The lake covers about 765 square kilometres (295 sq mi) depending on the season, and is connected via the Irebu channel with the Congo River.

The Lac Tumba region is one of the largest wetlands areas on the African continent. The lake lies at the center of the Tumba-Ngiri-Maindombe area, which is designated as a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention in 2008. The Lake Tumba landscape, encompassing some 80,000 square kilometers in total, has one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity anywhere in the world. It contains species of conservation concern such as forest elephants (Loxodonta Africana cyclotis), the bonobo monkey (pan paniscus), forest buffalo and leopards. There are an estimated 150 species of fish, a wide variety of birds, three types of crocodile as well as hippopotamus.

The Bantomba are the original tribal inhabitants of the region who live by means of fishing, farming and hunting. The population is 55,000 to 60,000 people. The language of the Bantomba is Lontomba. The Pygmies, who call themselves “bush men”, are the only other ethnic group that inhabits this area. It is estimated that there are approximately 10,000 Pygmies, mainly in the Nsoli Na Mato forest. The Bantomba and the Pygmies are both dependent on the rainforest for their way of life.

With the help of TREE Foundation and support from our community, Go Conscious Earth and Dilo Assistance (a Congolese NGO) are currently acquiring the land rights to the Bantomba ancestral lands in the Lac Tumba region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the request of the Bantomba tribal leaders. Dilo Assistance will hold the title to these lands, as a representative of the Bantomba tribe, and intends to partner with international NGO groups to preserve the land, the environment and the way of life for the Bantomba and Pygmy people.

Donate in Support
This project is a major undertaking and no effort like this can be accomplished without the support of many people on many levels. We are in the midst of fundraising for a summer work trip to the Congo to meet with the community and evaluate their needs as well as the needs of the forest and how we can preserve even more of this priceless ecosystem. We’d like to document all of this to share with the world and need your help to do so. Your donation is tax-deductible and goes directly to support the conservation of the Nsoli Na Mato rainforest and the families that live there. (Due to processing costs the minimum donation is $25 using PayPal. If you would like to send less, please do so by using the mail option.)

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Many thanks for your support!