Deforestation rates in the Congo Basin — historically lower than in the Amazon and southeast Asia — are on the rise. It's not just a problem for the 80 million people who rely on the forests for food and livelihoods; research shows the world's second-largest rainforest regulates weather patterns across Africa.
Community forestry has long been hailed as a strategy for reducing poverty and improving conservation by empowering communities to directly manage their forest resources, but it is a recent experiment in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A recent visit to North Kivu showed signs of progress.
Rodrigue Katembo remporté le Goldman Environmental Award pour sa défense du Parc National des Virunga.
Ranger Rodrigue Katembo risked his life to protect wildlife from oil developers in Virunga National Park—even wearing a hidden camera and pretending to accept bribes. He recently shared his incredible story with WRI.
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The rainforests of Africa’s Congo Basin are the world’s second largest, and are increasingly one of the most threatened. Agriculture, mining, logging, and climate change are already chipping away and thinning out the forests’ edge and interior. The Congo Basin forests’ biggest threat, however, is unseen: a lack of good information. With poor infrastructure, government capacity challenges, and hard-to-detect patterns of change, the forests of the Congo Basin are among the most difficult in the world to monitor and manage.
The Forest Atlases are online platforms that help countries better manage their forest resources by combining government data with the latest forest monitoring technology.