Herakles Farms

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.

Bonobos, considered to be humankind's closest relatives, were the last of the great apes to be discovered and live exclusively in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

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

 

Congo rainforest needs greater protection

Feature story | January 19, 2009 at 13:06

The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has recently completed a World Bank sponsored review of the logging industry with some positive results. Yet it has allowed an expansion of the industry to more than twice the recommended size.

Conning the Congo

Feature story | July 30, 2008 at 0:00

Just as the need to save the world’s forests for climate protection is becoming widely recognised, we have discovered that major logging companies - operating in the Congo basin - are increasingly destroying one of the most ecologically important...

Cultural Baggage

Blog entry by Richard | April 12, 2007 4 comments

I was taught a lesson today that I suspect will live with me for a long time. To cut a long story short, I had written an article for the website about the Congo rainforest. A Belgian colleague asked me to change the wording in one...

Rainforest destruction in Africa

Feature story | April 11, 2007 at 0:00

The Congo rainforest is the life support system for millions of people in the 'green heart' of Africa. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) alone, 40 million people depend on the forest. Like all large intact forests, it's also crucially...

Carving up the Congo - Executive Summary

Publication | April 11, 2007 at 0:00

Executive Sumary of 'Carving up the Congo'.

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