Protecting the ecological and biocultural integrity of the Congo Basin
The Congo Basin is home to Earth’s second largest rainforest and Africa’s second-longest river: the Congo. Containing a dazzling array of species, including iconic animals such as elephants, gorillas and bonobos, it also acts as a huge carbon sink and is a major source of the continent’s rainfall. It supports the livelihoods of 40 million people, including many indigenous forest peoples. Despite this, lack of secure land tenure for forest peoples, combined with government economic ambition, leaves much of this incredible landscape and the life it supports vulnerable to destruction for industrial-scale activities such as logging and agribusiness.
Conservation work in the area faces huge challenges, but we believe that empowering communities and indigenous peoples to defend their territories and rights is essential for biodiversity, ecosystems and human wellbeing in the long term. Our programme supports work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Cameroon to: resist destructive developments that threaten forests and rivers; empower forest peoples to defend their territories; and protect and revive ecosystems through regenerative approaches to development. Across the programme we provide core support and funding for capacity building.
Empowering civil society to resist and reduce threats to ecosystems and biodiversity from destructive developments.
Secure the rights of forest peoples to remain on their territories and defend them from threats.
Support communities and indigenous peoples to revive ecosystems and biodiversity through regenerative approaches to development.
* Images (L to R): Ollivier Girard/CIFOR; Chris Scarffe; Mbou mon Tour
As industrial-scale activities continue to replace local-level activities as the greatest emerging threat to Africa’s forests, there is an urgent need to counteract the damaging practices in the region before they become irreversible.