The Congo river basin spans six central African countries: Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo. It is known as “Africa’s lung” because it hosts the world’s second largest tropical forest. It covers an area of around 3 million square kilometres – almost the size of India.
This massive forest acts as a huge “carbon sink”, trapping carbon dioxide and storing it as biomass. It’s home to rich and unique flora and fauna, and sustains and shelters millions of people, providing for their needs in food and energy.
Deforestation rates are still low compared to other tropical regions, but population growth, national industrial development plans, and smaller-scale production of charcoal, crops, minerals, timber and wild meat are rapidly increasing the pressure on the forest.