Greenpeace launches Congolese youth’s book of forest poetry

Press release - October 26, 2012
A special event and ceremony in Kinshasa has marked the culmination of Greenpreace Africa’s “The Future of the Forests in poems” competition. A compilation entitled “Voix des Forêts ” , (Voices of the Forest) featuring 77 poems written by young Congolese was presented to Bavon Nsa Mputu, the DR Congo’s Environment Minister. There, unfortunately, was not enough space to include all 2,600 of the fabulous entries that had been submitted in the past year as part of an initiative to encourage Congolese citizens to take an active role in rainforest protection.

Despite the attendance of government ministers and other officials, the most important guests of the night were a number of the young authors who were invited along.

“If we are united, there is hope of saving our forests. Together, we can bring our leaders to listen and act for a sustainable future”, said Clémence Mvumbi Salem, one of the winners of the contest.

“Girls and boys share alove for their forest and their concern about its growing destruction. Their poems are a plea to safeguard the forest from this destruction increasing. They are the real heros of the Congolese forest,” said Loan Tran Thanh, Greenpeace Africa’s country director in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“We do not know where the youth drew their inspiration, but one thing is certain, the Congolese forest has found fearless and compassionate defenders”, continued Tran Thanh.

The Congo Basin is the second largest tropical rain forest in the world after the Amazon, but it is increasingly threatened by widespread logging, the growing development of large-scale industrial palm oil plantations and other projects.

“Through this "Voix des Forêts” poetry book, the authors demonstrate that they are aware of the threats to the forest and the dramatic consequences for both people and the planet. They, therefore, are carrying ther messages of millions of people who depend on the forest for their livelihood and survival”, added Tran Thanh.

The Congolese government should enforce and maintain the moratorium on new industrial logging concessions and prevent it being circumvented throughillegal artisanal permits. Forests are vital not only the future of people in the area, but to biodiversity and maintaining the global climate.



  1. Augustine Kasambule, Media Officer (Forests), Greenpeace Africa, +243998230896
  2. Irene Wabiwa, Forest Campaigner, Greenpeace Africa +243997853171




Note to the editors

[1] To download the poetry book « Voix des Forêts », please here is the link:

“Voix de la Forêt” is also the title of the song, performed by 11 famous musicians. The lyric of the song is extracted directly from the poems. To download it here

Watch the video at