On this first episode in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), great ape conservationist Jef Dupain shares his vision and missions as the Technical Director for Central and Western Africa of the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Jef Dupain started his career as a primatologist, studying bonobos in the Lomako Forest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as a student at the University of Antwerp. In 2004, he decided to leave a prospective academic career to join AWF as a conservation practitioner. He’s now the director of the African Apes Initiative, which focuses on protecting great apes in both protected and non-protected areas of Africa. With a clear view on the state of ape conservation in Africa, Dupain describes the different projects he and his team are working on to make conservation more sustainable in places that need it the most.
For Jef Dupain, the future of African ape conservation resides also in empowering local conservation practitioners by providing them with new technologies and organizing meetings to facilitate networking amongst them. For this purpose, we will have the pleasure of welcoming Jef Dupain and other African ape conservationists to the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute in November later this year.
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Photo credit: African Wildlife Foundation / Jef Dupain