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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6 ways corporate lawsuits kill free speech (and how to fight back!)

Blog entry by Molly Dorozenski | May 16, 2017

Free speech is a right. So how can a corporation possibly stop you from speaking out? Using a legal tactic called a  SLAPP , corporations like the massive Canadian logging company, Resolute Forest Products, are attempting to crack down...

The Urgency of Now: The fate of the lungs of Africa hangs in a balance

Blog entry by Nchemty Metimi Ozongashu | May 15, 2017

As the plane from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), makes its descent towards Mbandaka airport, the capital of Equateur province, I am impressed by a beautiful canopy of greenery painting the landscape...

Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | January 4, 2016

Dear Friends,  As I look out my window here in Amsterdam, winter is nearly here, and with it comes the retreat of another year, and the passing of what has been to make way for the spring and the new. As the days get shorter and the...

Illegal logging: Fuelling conflict and damaging livelihoods

Blog entry by Irene Wabiwa | July 16, 2015

The fight against illegal logging has been a long and protracted one. Greenpeace itself has been involved for more than 20 years and, while it is undeniable that some progress has been made, it is equally evident that it continues to...

Congo logging chaos leaves people and bonobos at the sharp end

Blog entry by Raoul Monsembula | May 26, 2015

"Chaos" and "chaotic" are frequently - perhaps even overly - used words. One dictionary definition is a "total lack of organisation or order". That can be said certainly of the industrial logging sector in the Democratic Republic of...

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