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


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...

No journey too far to protect Congo's forests

Blog entry by Raoul Monsembula | December 11, 2014

The Democratic Republic of Congo is roughly the same size as Western Europe. However its infrastructure is a far different proposition, and as a result it is rare – verging on impossible – that people from different parts of the...

Illegal Logging in the DRC

Image gallery | November 13, 2014

FSC puts business interests first

Blog entry by Asti Roesle | August 27, 2014

As a member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in Switzerland, as well as a Greenpeace campaigner focused on doing everything I can to protect our planet's last untouched forests, I am alarmed that FSC has already decided to...

Arrest of forest rights activists symbolic of what's wrong in India

Blog entry by Aaron Gray-Block | August 1, 2014

It was just past midnight when Indian police hauled two Greenpeace India activists out of their sleep and arrested them this week as a crackdown on protests against a planned coal mine in the Mahan forest intensified. The arrests...

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