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

 

International Day of Forests 2014

Slideshow | 20 March, 2014

Illegal Timber Protest France

Image | 8 January, 2014 at 17:32

Activists from Greenpeace France uncover a shipment of illegal timber from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the French port of Caen. They paint the message "Bois Illégal" on the logs and also seize a log as evidence. This timber is sold...

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