About Us

We are more than 25 long-term staff spread out in several teams in three provinces of central DR Congo. The teams themselves are working from different field-bases or village camps in the basins of the three rivers, the Tshuapa, Lomami, and Lualaba (TL2). We are mainly Congolese staff; some grew up in the TL2 region and came on first as temporary camp help but now organize missions and lead teams.

Our crew, working together, makes a top-notch, productive unit, not only because of field knowledge and observation skills, but also because of diplomatic skills, negotiation and conflict resolution and prevention.

Terese Hart

You can read about me in the side bar. That’s enough, don’t you think? A few more details are in “Who is Terese and why is she writing here” and in a National Geographic video from back in the days.

With wonderfully warm receptions like this, no wonder I stay in Congo.

John Hart
Retired Scientific Director

What I liked most about the work was the anticipation. What new bird, bug, spider, lizard, or flower will I see during the day? And sometimes they are even new to science. I love the mystery and the subtlety of so much of the forest. There are birdcalls I have heard for years and never yet identified… read more

In the park
John in the southern Lomami Park.

Matthieu Mirambo
Program Manager of the TL2 Project

“Hunting damaged the forest of the village where I was born, all the forest elephants disappeared, the apes, monkeys and duikers became very rare. Watching these I felt it was not right, and always wanted to do something about it…” read more

Matthieu in Bweni, eating orange

Maurice Emetshu
Outreach leader

When people want to reject what he tells them, Maurice becomes frustrated. But he knows it is part of the work and he just has to overcome it and keep trying. For instance now he is putting in park boundary markers and three villages in the south of the park had a different idea of where the limits were located. Local people are not familiar with maps or GPS; they believe that what they approved years ago is different from what is written down. Maurice accompanies them to the field, they have to talk and talk. Lack of education is a real problem…. read more

in a village

Simeon Dino
Program Coordinator for Tshopo Province

Dino’s father was not particularly interested in the forest or conservation. He was a nurse and Dino was one of his nine children, born in the village of Pimbo, in the far northeast of DRCongo in what is now the Ituri Province. There was no protected area nearby and no one else in the family became interested in nature… read more

Dino shows pictures

Ohm Omene
Program Coordinator for Maniema Province

In 2007 Ohm was teaching science and math at a secondary school in Opala when he heard about the TL2 project’s Lomami exploration. He applied, was accepted and, for the first time in his life, started to work in the forest. One of the field leaders, Papa Maurice chose him, even though the other field leader, Bernard, thought he was too young and not strong enough. He chose a stronger and older guy for his field team. But Papa Maurice said, ‘No, this boy can work!’ He wanted to give me a chance. So I could join his field team. “It was not easy! It really was not easy! I was the compass man. I was not doing well; sometimes I could not even eat… read more


Léon Salumu
Ambassador for the program to support conservation law enforcement, PALL (le Projet d’Appui à la Loi dans Lomami); Public relations officer Maniema

A turning point for Léon was when he learned that his colleague, Boni, was twice slashed with a machete while struggling to get the shotgun out of the hands of a poacher who had shot at his patrol team in the park. Boni prevailed; the man with the machete fled and Leon tried to get justice. Unfortunately a bushmeat lobby was there first. It was Boni who received the arrest warrant not the poacher with the gun, and the project was asked to close its doors. Leon managed to reverse these two decisions, but never to get justice. Leon understood that there was a long way to go to get conservation laws taken seriously and to make the courts work to implement the law not the wishes of lobbies… read more

at the Lomami

Robert Abani
PALL Deputy in Tshopo Province

Robert first heard about conservation in his village, not far from the Okapi Wildlife Reserve. Robert’s father – the headmaster of a local elementary school –recognized the significance of conservation. “My father told us now the world is going in a direction where conservation needs to have an important role. You should learn about this. In my time, I couldn’t go to university, but you have the opportunity.” And Robert listened to him… read more

Robert with contingent about to pursue elephant poaching militia
Robert with contingent about to pursue elephant poaching militia

Henri Silegowa
Field Leader for Tshopo Province

Henri was a high school student in the small town of Wamba in northeastern DR Congo when he first learned about nature conservation. Outreach teams from the Okapi Faunal Reserve occasionally travelled through Wamba to talk about Congo’s endemic forest giraffe, the Okapi, and other protected species… read more


Pablo Ayali
We lost our Team Leader – Pablo passed away on December 2, 2018

Pablo’s favorite part of the work was simply being in the forest. He said: “for Conservation, you need love, passion and motivation…” read more

Pablo with a confiscated owl-faced monkey

Junior Amboko
Team Leader, in charge of the camera trap program in Maniema Province

Junior is a field person; he spends most of his time in the forest and loves it. His main responsibility is the camera traps, but he also participates in other mammal monitoring: walking transects to record animal sign and surveillance patrols that also monitor the main threat — hunting… read more

Junior crossing stream
Crossing stream

Koko Bisimwa
Assistant Director of Inventory and Monitoring Unit (IMU)

Koko studied communications and computer science. After finishing his studies, he worked for a mining company for one year as IT support and communication team member. One day he came across a journal called ‘Le Gorille’ (The gorilla), an environmental communication magazine. As he read about conservation, Koko wanted to leave mining behind, and to use his skills for conservation instead… read more

Checking camera traps in the park (Koko in the middle in glasses)

Willy Ali Lutenga
Environmental Law Advisor

Willy’s favorite part of his work is to discuss conservation with communities, and he is also very pleased when he sees that fewer and fewer people break conservation law as a result of his work. It is unusual for a lawyer to walk long distances in the bush, but for Willy that is not a problem… read more

Willy (on the right) with the site chief of ICCN (in the middle) and field coordinator of TL2 Project (on the left) on a field mission

Ildefonse Bulembe Kalunga
Fishpond Project Leader

Ildefonse likes training people to make fishponds. Some villagers are truly interested in the work and follow his advice well. He recalls one of them who cultivated 6 baskets of Tilapia from one little fishpond, because he followed the suggested procedures. This was a real pleasure for Ildefonse… read more

At a demonstration pond

More soon…