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.

 

 

The latest updates

 

Illegal logging: Fuelling conflict and damaging livelihoods

Blog entry by Irene Wabiwa | July 16, 2015

The fight against illegal logging has been a long and protracted one. Greenpeace itself has been involved for more than 20 years and, while it is undeniable that some progress has been made, it is equally evident that it continues to...

Congo logging chaos leaves people and bonobos at the sharp end

Blog entry by Raoul Monsembula | May 26, 2015

"Chaos" and "chaotic" are frequently - perhaps even overly - used words. One dictionary definition is a "total lack of organisation or order". That can be said certainly of the industrial logging sector in the Democratic Republic of...

Trading in Chaos

Publication | May 26, 2015 at 10:00

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to the large majority of the world's second-largest rainforested area, an area that plays a vital role in maintaining the global climate. But corruption and a lack of political will are among the...

Cameroon: An example of the work needed to combat illegal logging

Blog entry by Eric Ini | March 20, 2015

Policy wonks, experts, campaigners and other stakeholders  met in Brussels this week  to discuss progress under the European Union's Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action plan. Yet the effectiveness of the...

Tropical deforestation is bad news – the science keeps telling us

Blog entry by Dr Janet Cotter | January 19, 2015

Deforestation is very bad news for the environment and for the climate. It is bad news for biodiversity and releases greenhouses gases into the atmosphere – we know that. But the science is increasingly certain that deforestation is...

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