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

 

Marion Cotillard in the Congo: Episode 4

Video | August 6, 2010 at 9:20

In June 2010, Greenpeace took Oscar-winning French actress, Marion Cotillard, to visit the tropical rainforests in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this fourth of seven episodes, after spending her first night in a forest village...

Marion Cotillard in the Congo: Episode 3

Video | August 6, 2010 at 9:10

In June 2010, Greenpeace took Oscar-winning French actress, Marion Cotillard, to visit the tropical rainforests in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this third of seven episodes, Marion leaves Oshwe by pirogue. All along the river...

'Inception' Star Marion Cotillard's other new film

Feature story | July 16, 2010 at 13:45

Oscar-winning French actress, Marion Cotillard, has long been a supporter of the environment - and of Greenpeace. Last month, she travelled with us to the heart of the Congo rainforests to bear witness to the plundering of this ancient forest.

Marion Cotillard in the Congo: Episode 2

Video | July 7, 2010 at 12:30

In June 2010, Greenpeace took Oscar-winning French actress, Marion Cotillard, to visit the tropical rainforests in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this second of seven episodes, Raoul, who works for Greenpeace Africa, suggests a...

Marion Cotillard in the Congo: Episode 1

Video | July 7, 2010 at 10:33

In June 2010, Greenpeace took Oscar-winning French actress, Marion Cotillard, to visit the tropical rainforests in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this first of seven episodes, Marion arrives in Oshwe, and Grégoire of Greenpeace...

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