Rainforest Destruction in Africa

Feature story - April 11, 2007
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 important for regulating the local and global climate. As the world's second largest rainforest, the Congo rainforest is also home to some of Africa's most iconic wildlife including gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and forest elephants.

In our latest report, Carving Up the Congo, international logging companies are exposed for causing social chaos and wreaking environmental havoc in the DRC. It also reveals how the World Bank, by far the largest donor to the DRC, is failing to stop this destruction while the rainforest is being sold off under the illusion that it will alleviate poverty in one of the poorest countries on Earth.

This report shows how, in spite of a moratorium on new logging that has been in place since 2002, over 37 million acres of rainforest have been granted to the logging industry - that's an area the size of Illinois, and most of this is in areas that are vital for protecting biodiversity.