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

 

Landgrabbing in Cameroon

Video | 26 February, 2013 at 10:40

Industrial scale palm oil production is coming to Africa and it’s bad news for the coastal rainforest of Cameroon.

Voix De La Foret

Video | 11 October, 2012 at 11:26

Greenpeace Africa released a brand new song entitled ""Voix de la Forêt" (The Voices of the Forest), which is performed by 11 internationally acclaimed singers from the Congo Basin countries; in a bid to highlight the importance of the world's...

Greenpeace launches in the DRC

Video | 17 February, 2009 at 16:18

Greenpeace launches its new office in the Democratic Republic of Congo - it will focus on the protection of the Congo Basin rainforest.

What a Carve Up!

Video | 10 April, 2007 at 14:49

Those spiffing chaps at the World Bank have a ripping wheeze to help the Democratic Republic of Congo out of poverty - cut down the vast rainforest and sell the timber for a colossal profit. Except it doesn't quite work like that...

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