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

 

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...

DRC's trees are endangered too

Blog entry by Danielle Van Oijen | July 15, 2014

When one thinks of endangered species, the usual large animals spring to mind. Elephants, tigers, rhinos. And quite rightly they are the ones who get the lion's share of the attention at the meeting of the standing committee of the ...

Successful energy-efficient clay ovens in DRC

Blog entry by Bianca Bolink | July 3, 2014

In Oshwe, a small forest community of around 22 000 people in the DRC, people survive by hunting, fishing, and gathering wood from the rainforest. As with many forest communities in the DRC, the rainforest is both a pharmacy and...

Pushing for transparency in Congo Basin palm oil

Blog entry by Amy Moas | June 30, 2014

The global palm oil industry is at a critical juncture. In 2012 we published a report that outlined how Africa is a new frontier for industrial palm oil production . This may bring much needed development to the continent, but it...

Herakles Farms: Champions of Illegal Deforestation?

Blog entry by Brendan Schwartz | May 26, 2014

The lead up to this years soccer World Cup is already dominating international news. Meanwhile, Greenpeace has been closely monitoring another world-wide phenomenon: illegal deforestation.  One American private equity firm cum...

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