Clarification on the statement :

Greenpeace Africa would like to clarify that the CongoPeat Project is an independent scientific project funded by the UK government’s Natural Environment Research Council, led by Professor Simon Lewis of the University of Leeds. In no way did we intend to criticize the CongoPeat scientists’ research. Investment in the scientific understanding of the peatlands can make a valuable contribution to the case for their protection. Phase One of CongoPeat was the initial assessment of the extent and carbon stocks of the central Congo peatlands. Phase Two, formally began on 1 September 2018, is to understand how the peatlands developed and function. The Brazzaville press conference marked the beginning of a field campaign to the peatlands and an opportunity for Professor Lewis to explain the project to the public in Congo. Greenpeace would also like to clarify that CongoPeat studies only intact peatlands, but by using computer simulations, the project will assess potential future threats from climate change, logging, industrial agriculture, and oil extraction to alert the public and policy makers to their detrimental impacts in advance of such decisions being made. Details of the CongoPeat project can be found at: The aim of Greenpeace’s press release was to denounce the regime’s hypocrisy with regard to the peatlands: using CongoPeat to pose as the herald of peatland conservation while auctioning off oil blocks there. Greenpeace Africa apologizes for any misunderstanding caused by our statement.

Following the announcement of the launch of the second phase of the CongoPeat Project by Congolese Minister of Environment Arlette Soudan-Nonault, Victorine Che Thoener, Project Leader of the Congo Basin forest campaign at Greenpeace Africa said:

“The launch of this second phase which consists of a scientific study of peatland areas, is extremely unpleasant news. The study will be used to assess, among other things, the impact of possible “oil spills,” or “selective logging” or “conversion of peat forest to industrial plantations” [1] in a zone that stores around 30 billion tons of carbon!

“In November last year, Greenpeace Africa exposed the greenwashing efforts undertaken by the Congolese government while it set about auctioning off three oil blocks in the heart of the peatlands. [2]

“We reiterate our demand to the government of the Republic of Congo to immediately cancel these calls for tenders as well as the contracts for the four blocks already allocated in the same area.”


[2] -Week African-du-oil/

Media contact:


Afy Malungu, Communications Officer, Congo Basin – Greenpeace Africa, +243991521250, [email protected]


Victorine Che Thöner, Project Leader Congo Basin forest campaign- Greenpeace Africa, +49 15779598983, [email protected]