The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Japan Monkey Centre

Conserving rare bonobo monkeys in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by monitoring infectious diseases and awareness-raising activities

Activity grant

Project Description

Surveying for infectious diseases and raising awareness amongst local peoples of the bonobo great apes inhabiting the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
This project carries out surveys to determine the levels of infectious diseases among bonobo populations inhabiting the Mbali region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. It also supports bonobo conservation by collecting data to monitor health. It then carries out awareness-raising activities based on the results of these to deepen understanding in local communities regarding bonobos and the natural environment. It is also contributing to building a foundation to ensure local plans for eco-tourism are safe for both people and bonobos. [Project No. K15-0018]

Ecosystems and the Symbiotic Society
Grant year
FY2015 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
October 2015 - September 2018
Grant amount
13,998,000 yen
Activity region
Mbali region, Bandundu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Bonobos inhabiting a forest in Malebo

Overview of the Organization

Yuta Shintaku, project leader
Project Organization
Japan Monkey Centre
Tetsuro Matsuzawa, General Director
Establishment purpose
Established as a base for primate research in the early days of Japanese primatology. It currently carries out activities aimed at conserving primate species and their habitats based on investigative research, with the goal of contributing to the development of education, culture, and scholarships, as well as the harmonious coexistence of societies around the world through activities such as publishing books and public educational materials, gathering materials such as samples, and establishing and operating zoos that are considerate of animal welfare.
Recent activities
Comprehensive research into primates
Activities aimed at conserving primates and their habitats
Awareness-raising and environmental education relating to primates
Publication of books and academic articles relating to primates
Collecting, managing and exhibiting materials relating to primates, such as samples
Establishing and operating zoos considerate of animal welfare
Providing technical instruction and support regarding the appropriate rearing and exhibition of primates
Holding lectures and academic forums relating to primates
Training people in exhibition, conservation, environmental education, and public awareness raising relating to primates
42 full-time staff members, 5 part-time staff members
WEB site
Representative's comment
As these bonobos are a rare species that only inhabits the DRC, we need to avoid an outbreak of infectious disease in the project area. Through this project, we also hope to raise the awareness of infectious diseases amongst local people.