The Congo Basin
Programme: Conservation in the world’s second largest rainforest
ISSUE Protecting The Congo Rainforest & Indigenous People
The Congo Basin is the earth’s second largest rainforest, it is home to the Congo River and an amazing array of species, including iconic species such as elephants, gorillas and bonobos. Beyond this, there are over 450 mammal species, 1300 bird species 336 amphibian species and 400 reptiles, as well as 20,000 plant species. Importantly, the Congo rainforest has a far-reaching effect, playing a pivotal role for the livelihood of the indigenous people and sustaining life on our planet.
Valuable wetlands such as the ‘Cuvette Central’ in the area are estimated to store over 60 billions of carbon according to a recent study by Nature. Preserving the rich and dense biodiversity in these areas are critical to reversing the pressing climate change threat we face.
Despite this, the worrying threat of industrialisation, forest fires and political conflicts in the region continues to cause havoc, plundering thousands of voiceless locals – and animals – into deplorable conditions and placing one of our planets biodiversity crown jewels at risk.
Conservation work in the area faces huge challenges but we believe that working to build local capacity to defend indigenous people’s rights, land rights and forest rights are not only essential to this wonderful ecosystem and those who live there, but also to support sustainable development.
We have been working in the region since 2012 and have now developed a programme designed to encourage a more coordinated response to the threats. We have identified numerous strong local partners, as well as several excellent international organisations and will continue to build on this through our rigorous research, consultation with our partners and site visits.
We are sharing our research and programme with multiple donors to leverage pooled funding to enable a ‘win-win’ for both donor and grantee. For the (often overstretched) grantee, it means less time spent fundraising and completing paperwork; and done well it also means more opportunity to collaborate and learn from other grantees. For the donor, it offers an opportunity to learn about and fund grantees in areas previously inaccessible given lack. of capacity to research the region, identify good partners or conduct due diligence.
Our research shows that philanthropic funding for mainland African forests is much lower than it is for forest protection in Latin America and Southeast Asia; the current funding response has been insufficient to address needs.
Our Partners Supporting the Congo Rainforest
“Uniting women on the banks of the Congo River and its tributaries, recognising their strong relationship with the river and addressing two key themes: the empowerment of these women; and the protection of the Congo River and the rights of communities that depend on them.”
Directrice Exécutive FESO
Mbou Mon Tour
In a bid to protect the bonobos and their forest-savanna home, a local chief, Jean Christophe Bokika Ngawolo established a small community organisation “Mbou Mon Tour” (MMT) in 1997. Over the last twenty years Jean Christophe …
Developing real and sustainable water solutions is therefore essential to safeguarding riverine environments and the species they support as well as providing sustainable livelihoods, and water and food security for a growing population…
Forest Peoples Pogramme
FPP works across the tropics to ensure that forest peoples are able to secure their land rights; are involved (by governments and companies) in decision-making about land-use change; and are free to determine how conservation ….
Green Development Advocates
GDA’s mission is to contribute to the sustainable development of African tropical forests while respecting the culture, rights, interests and needs of the African peoples. They specifically focus on supporting indigenous Pygmies in this process. …
Discover more partners >
The Congo Basin is an essential region of our planet, a region that contributes so much to life locally and globally. A region we can no longer overlook. Help us in our work to protect the thousands species and people who call this majestic Congo rainforest home.
Your support and donations are invaluable to help us continue to empower people like [name of person we quote] to build capacity and sustain conservation initiatives, despite the rising challenges in the area. Collectively we can all make a positive contribution to safeguard one of our planets finest habitats by supporting the people who are best placed to protect it – indigenous people of the Congo Basin.