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


Cutting to the truth on Congo Basin deforestation

Blog entry by Danielle Van Oijen | July 26, 2013

The Congo Basin is home to the second largest tropical rain-forested area on earth.  New research publicised this week suggests that the rate of deforestation in the region is actually slowing.  However this message does not...

The Journey of Africa's Illegal Wood

Feature story | July 2, 2013 at 11:19

This week an illegal shipment of endangered wood from the Democratic Republic of Congo was uncovered in the European Union. This infographic outlines the journey of illegal wood from Africa's rainforests to markets in the EU.

Illegal Wood from the DRC Uncovered in the EU

Feature story | July 2, 2013 at 10:56

An illegal shipment of endangered wood from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been found at a processing factory in the European Union, run by the controversial Swiss timber group Danzer.

Runaway forest fires show how RSPO is not enough

Blog entry by Bustar Maitar | June 28, 2013

The forest fires that have set Sumatra ablaze and engulfed the region with record-breaking air pollution remind us that forest destruction is very real. It’s a problem with global effects and demands global solutions. That is why...

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