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The Corridor

32:46 2023

When he was three years old, Dominique Bikaba’s family was expelled from their ancestral land in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has spent the past 30 years fighting for the rights of Indigenous and local peoples to protect their traditional lands and the gorillas that share the forests with them. Today, Dominique and a team of international partners are on an ambitious mission to secure 21 interconnected land titles.

The iniaitive would establish one of the largest wildlife corridors of community-managed forests on the planet.

In doing so, they are empowering local communities to protect the habitat of the critically endangered eastern lowland gorilla and conserving the all-important Congo Basin Rainforest — the second lung of the Earth — for generations to come. This is 21st-century conservation in action.

The change makers

Dominique Bikaba
Founder and Executive Director
South Kivu, DRC

Dominique Bikaba is a South Kivu-based conservationist and the founder of Strong Roots. Strong Roots employs a unique model of conservation and development where scientists work closely with indigenous and local communities to apply local solutions to the environmental and protected areas management issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Strong Roots and Forest Health Alliance have been partners in creating and protecting DRC's wildlife corridor for the last 20 years. Dominique Bikaba has degrees in Rural Development where he specialized in Regional Planning, and in Forestry and Environmental Studies where he specialized in Ecosystem Conservation and Management. Bikaba has an extensive professional background in conservation and development for having served communities in the area for more than 15 years now. He has also served local, national and international organizations in and outside the DRC, what has provided him with skills and needed knowledge for conservation and development programs. Dominique Bikaba also seats on a number of organizations’ Boards of Advisors and Steering Committees.

Dr. Kerry Bowman
President and Founder
Toronto, Ontario

Dr. Kerry Bowman has a Ph.D. in Bioethics, a fellowship in Cultural Psychiatry, and a Masters degree in Social Work. He is an Assistant Professor appointed to both University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics and The University of Toronto Centre for Environment. As well, he is the Clinical Ethicist for Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Kerry Bowman is a Canadian bioethicist and environmentalist. As well, he is the Clinical Ethicist for Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He teaches a broad range of courses related to the bioethics of health care, emerging technologies and Global and Planetary health. Dr. Bowman has previously worked on the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Outlook reports 4,5 and 6. His primary focus has been the relationship between human health and the environment. Dr. Bowman is presently working on two major conservation projects in the Western Amazon and the Eastern Congo focusing on the intersection of human health with factors such as deforestation, biodiversity loss and emerging zoonotic diseases.


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