“Save the bonobos? OK, why not ...!”

So began the Le Monde des Bonobos ─ a huge challenge to which two highly experienced men would devote their future retirement.

But the birth of the association is not just an anecdote. On the contrary, it is a cry from the heart that responds to overwhelming evidence. Saving the bonobos in the Congo basin where they are endemic also means protecting the people who live with them in the same region of Africa.

> The extinction of an animal species is often the last warning we receive as humans before serious consequences follow for our own lives. This scenario becomes all the more arresting when it concerns the bonobo because they are our ─ mankind’s ─ closest cousin with whom we share 98.7% of our DNA and whose habitat constitutes one of the great lungs of our planet.

> Every day, each of us are alarmed and moved by the endangerment and extinction of animal species ─ a process that is currently occurring on our planet for a swathe of reasons ranging from global warming, deforestation, and overexploitation of natural resources to armed conflict, hunting, poaching, and disease. This means that in choosing to defend a species, we are also choosing to tackle these causes ─ making the task, let's face it, both immense and very difficult.

> Le Monde des Bonobos is an association that supports the preservation of the bonobo, but it also, and perhaps above all, defends a vision of the world where local populations play a pivotal role in the preservation of their own environment.

> Helping local Congolese populations save the bonobo is indistinguishable from helping them to adopt sustainable solutions for their own economic development, (re)claim their land and culture, and bring an end to living from day to day. Saving the bonobo means helping the Congolese people set up a win-win educational system that can improve and perpetuate eco-responsible initiatives and safeguard a secure future for their children in a preserved environment. It is only by doing all this that we can give ourselves the means to defend the bonobo.

> Unpretentious but with strong convictions, Lionel RAFFIN ─ a doctor of medicine ─ and Bertrand MONFORT ─ a banker and expert in structured finance ─ have taken up the role of sounding the alarm to defend a world where the destiny of humans goes hand in hand with the destiny of the bonobo. With a role primarily as champions and fundraisers, Lionel and Bertrand are advised by Victor NARAT, a fieldworker and researcher at the CNRS in France specialised in the relationships between humans and non-human primates, in particular the bonobo.

Lionel and Bertrand strongly believe that the solutions for saving the bonobo lie in the hands of the Congolese people and that we should help them in this undertaking.

Some dates :

  • October 2018: Le Monde des Bonobos is founded as a non-profit association under the 1901 French Law of Associations (Loi du 1er juillet 1901).
  • November 2018: A provisional version of the association’s website www.bonobosworld.org goes live.
  • December 2018: The association is declared in the Official Journal of the French Republic (Journal Officiel de la République française (JO)) under the number W783010522.
  • November 2019: The association is registered in the Directory of Companies and Establishments (Répertoire de Entreprises et des Établissements) (SIRET number: 878 362 144 00015).
  • February 2020: Its status as an Association of Public Interest is recognised by the French tax authorities.
  • November 2020: First fundraising campaign.
  • March 2021: First contribution to a development project.
  • April 2021: The completed version of the association's website www.bonobosworld.org goes live.

Our team

The key players.

Bertrand MONFORT
Bertrand MONFORT Treasurer of the Association
Founding member
Lionel RAFFIN President of the Association
Founding member
Alexandra SHARPIN
Alexandra SHARPINSecretary of the Association
Founding member

Our values

Our Principles


> Solidarity is the driving force behind our approach, guiding all our actions. We are convinced that now more than ever it has an essential role to play in meeting the challenges we face in this pivotal century. Along with altruism, social justice, and mutual aid, solidarity is a formidable lever for achieving great things.


> Any commitment to a cause must be accompanied by a profound belief in its success because the road is long and complicated. But we are determined to conduct and support the actions we believe in, and we are more determined than ever to act.


> Both an energy and a state of mind, our belief in the future and our commitment is carried by hope. By thinking of tomorrow ─ as is inherent in hope ─ we can overcome the difficulties of today. As a unifying force, it enshrines individual commitment in a collective purpose.


> Supporting local Congolese associations and NGOs is a commitment on two levels: one, to the local population for whom we create hope, and second, to our donors who put their trust in us and give us the means to act. Transparency, autonomy, and leading by example are the key words in the management of our association.