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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Victory! How ten years of activism helped protect the world’s forests

Feature story | July 7, 2010 at 10:00

Today, after a ten year Greenpeace campaign, Europe banned the trade in illegal timber - a great leap forward in the struggle to protect the world's forests and climate. This is a look back at the ten years of activism that led to that law. It's...

Stop Forest Crime in DRC

Publication | June 25, 2010 at 14:41

Impunity still prevails in logging operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Stop Forest Crime in DRC

Publication | June 25, 2010 at 14:41

Impunity still prevails in logging operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The World Bank and the Congo Forests

Publication | June 25, 2010 at 12:48

On 3rd December 2009, just a few days before the Copenhagen Climate Conference, Greenpeace, Global Witness and the Rainforest Foundation delivered an open letter to the World Bank criticising its role in the forest sector in the Democratic...

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