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


Herakles Cameroon palm oil project starts to run off the rails

Blog entry by Laila Williams | May 22, 2013

Bruce Wrobel, the chief executive of Herakles Farms, claims his company’s efforts to flatten a chunk of Cameroon’s dense rainforest to develop a palm oil plantation are borne of a desire to address a "dire humanitarian need". Yet...

Danzer feels the bite as the FSC show its teeth

Blog entry by Danielle van Oijen | May 22, 2013

To the layperson the world of forest certification is often a technical one that does not seem to operate at what could be called a breakneck pace. However, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has this week reached a landmark decision...

Fighting for the (human) rights of DRC's forests communities

Blog entry by Karine Jacquemart, Congo Forests | April 26, 2013

A key plank of Greenpeace's work on protecting forests around the world is an obvious yet important message of putting "people and forests first". Yet it is a message that needs repeating, often to the many companies that use...

How rogue palm oil producers are getting away with forest destruction

Blog entry by Wirendro Sumargo | April 25, 2013

It always amazes me how the actions – or rather inaction – of high-level meetings in far-off cities can so seriously impact forests in my own country. Today, an organisation with the declared aim of ensuring environmentally...

Investigation raises doubts of legality of DRC timber held in Belgian port

Blog entry by Raoul Monsembula | April 11, 2013

Last month Greenpeace Africa released a report on how the illegal logging sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is in a state of organized chaos, with numerous companies flouting regulations and threatening the country’s...

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