Congo forests

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

 

Caught up in the battle against Congo's irresponsible loggers

Blog entry by Sylvain Trottier | 13 November, 2014 1 comment

"It's too far away", "there's nothing to see or do there", "it's too hard to get to..." The reasons people find to avoid the long journey to some of the Democratic Republic of Congo's many remote forested areas are numerous. ...

Endangered species pay the price of palm oil's expansion

Blog entry by Ntumwel Bonito Chia and Denis Kupsch | 3 October, 2014 4 comments

There have been a number of reports in recent months shedding light on the serious threat industrial agribusiness plantations can pose to the habitat of large mammals. Be this the gorilla, the chimpanzee, the forest elephant or...

FSC puts business interests first

Blog entry by Asti Roesle | 26 August, 2014

As a member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in Switzerland, as well as a Greenpeace campaigner focused on doing everything I can to protect our planet's last untouched forests, I am alarmed that FSC has already decided to...

DRC's trees are endangered too

Blog entry by Danielle Van Oijen | 15 July, 2014

When one thinks of endangered species, the usual large animals spring to mind. Elephants, tigers, rhinos. And quite rightly they are the ones who get the lion's share of the attention at the meeting of the standing committee of the ...

Pushing for transparency in Congo Basin palm oil

Blog entry by Amy Moas | 27 June, 2014

The global palm oil industry is at a critical juncture. In 2012 we published a report that outlined how Africa is a new frontier for industrial palm oil production . This may bring much needed development to the continent, but it...

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