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Crucial Congo rainforest faces growing threats from logging and mining

The area of forest felled in the Congo basin rose last year, but schemes giving power to Indigenous communities could be key to reversing the trend

Environment 15 November 2022

Tree stumps

An area of forest cleared to plant oil palm near Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

SAMIR TOUNSI/AFP via Getty Images

If the Amazon is the lungs of the world, then the Congo basin is its beating heart. This vast region in central Africa is home to the world’s second-largest – and most pristine – tropical rainforest, spanning six countries and 170 million hectares of land.

But this unique habitat, which boasts a dazzling array of wildlife from forest elephants to mountain gorillas, is in trouble. Last year, forest loss in the Congo basin jumped …