The Congo Forest

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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Save Congo's Forests Action in Brussels

Image | 27 June, 2010 at 17:55

27 June 2010- People hold up green leaflets reading in French 'Save Congo's Forests' during a demonstration in Parc du Cinquantenaire (Jubelpark), a few days before Congo's 50th independence anniversary. Stop forest crime in DRC .

A bonobo swings on a tree in a bonobo sanctuary

Image | 3 February, 2007 at 1:00

A bonobo swings on a tree in a bonobo sanctuary. Bonobos were the last of the great apes to be discovered and live exclusively in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are considered to be man's closest relative and organise themselves in...

A log park in the Democratic Republic of

Image | 29 January, 2007 at 1:00

A log park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 21 million hectares of rainforest are currently allocated to the logging industry, an area nearly seven times the size of Belgium. Most of DRC's timber is exported to Europe, with France and Belgium...

Children sit on logs in the Democratic Republic

Image | 22 October, 2006 at 3:00

Children sit on logs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More than 21 million hectares of the nation's rainforest are now allocated to the logging industry.

Workers in the 'Coordination Provinciale

Image | 1 October, 2006 at 3:00

Workers in the 'Coordination Provinciale pour la protection de l'environnement', an office which handles environmental affairs in the region. Officials have none of the necessary equipment to oversee the logging industry.

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