Habitat Conservation:

Working Together to Reclaim Wild Lands

As forest and savannah land disappears in Africa, PASA members create coalitions and community-based solutions to protect existing wild places, and reclaim others.

Breaking Down the Issue

Loss of habitat, as well as fragmentation and degradation of habitat, are severe threats to the survival of Africa’s great apes and monkeys. Agriculture, logging, and mining are among the major causes of habitat destruction. Forests are clearcut for construction projects, roads, and pulp for paper products. The mining industry exploits wilderness for gems, metals and rare earth elements.

A pressing threat is the clearing of forest for palm oil plantations, an industry that has already devastated forests in Southeast Asia. Palm oil is is commonly used in a wide variety of products from processed foods to soaps and cosmetics. Nearly 50% of what you find on a Western supermarket shelf contains some form of palm oil. Unfortunately, because palm oil is so versatile and inexpensive, forests all over Africa are cut down and converted to palm oil plantations. This is an unsustainable practice and is a danger to struggling wildlife populations, local communities, and ultimately entire ecosystems.

Rainforest logs are hauled out of the forest for export. © M. Harvey, 2002

PASA’s Approach

PASA members collaborate with their governments to protect vast tracts of critically threatened natural habitat across Africa.

  • In D.R. Congo, Lola ya Bonobo worked with local officials to create Ekolo ya Bonobo, a 120,000 acre community forest preserve.
  • Projet Protection des Gorilles-Congo (PPG) created a Federation of Village Associations, which includes 20,000 people living in the periphery of a national park. The Federation amplifies local conservation efforts to protect the forest.
  • Aliette Jamart and the HELP Congo staff worked closely with communities and the Republic of Congo government to create the National Park of Conkouati-Doula.

In fact, almost half of PASA members have successfully helped to establish new legally protected areas. The centers’ close relationships with government agencies and their knowledge of local cultures is critical to these collaborations.


As part of the Sorbengi Oyster Project, local women plant mangroves to prevent erosion. © Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Women in Conservation: Protecting Africa’s Primates, Serving as Role Models

Meet two extraordinary African women in conservation who are protecting great apes and monkeys through their work at PASA member sanctuaries.

Coming Together to Stop Social Media Animal Cruelty

Social media channels may make it seem like primates work make good pets. But don’t believe it. Discover how we’re working in a coalition to take animal cruelty offline for good.

Celebrating the Amazing – and Endangered – Chimpanzee

In honor of World Chimpanzee Day, we’ve gathered facts and figures about these amazing animals. And we’re sharing some rescue stories that make our hearts sing.

Cryptocurrency and Conservation: A New Approach

For the last few months, we’ve been in conversations with a cryptocurrency called FEG Token. They are now an official PASA sponsor and have made a $1.1 million dollar pledge to us, in the cryptocurrency.

An Inside Look at Primate Rescues

What’s involved in rescuing a primate? More than you’d think! Read on to discover all that goes into this complex but rewarding work.