The vast forest of the Congo Basin is the second largest tropical rainforest on earth and the lungs of Africa. Its incredibly rich and diverse ecosystem provides food, fresh water, shelter and medicine for tens of millions of people, and is home to many critically endangered species including forest elephants, gorillas, bonobos and okapis. Of the hundreds of mammal species discovered there so far, 39 are found nowhere else on Earth, and of its estimated 10,000 plant species, 3,300 are unique to the region.

The rainforest supports an astonishing range of life, within its teeming rivers, swamps and savannahs. But it also helps to sustain life across the whole planet. An estimated 8% of the earth’s carbon that is stored in living forests worldwide is stored in the forests of the DRC, making the country the fourth largest carbon reservoir in the world. The Congo Basin rainforest plays a critical role in regulating the global climate and halting runaway climate change, for the benefit of the entire biosphere.

But the forest, and the people and animals that depend upon it, are under threat as the unquenchable global thirst for natural resources, crops and foodstuffs means African lands are, more than ever, a target for investors. The solutions to these threats lie firmly with those who live there.

 

 

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6 ways corporate lawsuits kill free speech (and how to fight back!)

Blog entry by Molly Dorozenski | May 16, 2017

Free speech is a right. So how can a corporation possibly stop you from speaking out? Using a legal tactic called a  SLAPP , corporations like the massive Canadian logging company, Resolute Forest Products, are attempting to crack down...

The Urgency of Now: The fate of the lungs of Africa hangs in a balance

Blog entry by Nchemty Metimi Ozongashu | May 15, 2017

As the plane from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), makes its descent towards Mbandaka airport, the capital of Equateur province, I am impressed by a beautiful canopy of greenery painting the landscape...

DRC donors release 40million dollars after illegal award of 4000km2 of forest

Publication | February 7, 2017 at 13:27

Only a month after he was forced to cancel three logging concession contracts that his predecessor signed last year in violation of a 2002 freeze on new allocations, DRC’s ex-Environment Minister Robert Bopolo Mbongeza awarded a new permit to an...

Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | January 4, 2016

Dear Friends,  As I look out my window here in Amsterdam, winter is nearly here, and with it comes the retreat of another year, and the passing of what has been to make way for the spring and the new. As the days get shorter and the...

German bilateral development cooperation in the forest sector:

Publication | October 22, 2015 at 14:48

The conservation of rapidly disappearing natural forests in the tropics is one of the priority issues of international cooperation. Large amounts of funding have been pledged to projects claiming to protect forests, forest peoples, biodiversity...

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