Gerard Bondeko is the communities coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s project in the Lac Télé Community Reserve, Republic of Congo, and has also been a research assistant on socioeconomic issues. A member of the Bomitaba people, he is an ‘Ndami’, or elder, for Elenda village, situated in the heart of the Congo Basin’s Cuvette Centrale peatland. Gerard has worked for WCS for over 15 years, collaborating closely with fishers, smallholders and other people who rely on these forests for their livelihoods. He has experience in dealing with work practices within rural and indigenous communities as well as settling conflicts at an interpersonal or village level. Gerard has a degree in sociology, with a focus on work and organizations, and is fluent in the French and Lingala languages.