Rainforest destruction in Africa
11 April 2007

International The Congo rainforest is the life support system for millions of people in the 'green heart' of Africa. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) alone, 40 million people depend on the forest. Like all large intact forests, it's also crucially important for regulating the local and global climate.
As the world's second largest rainforest, the Congo rainforest is also home to some of Africa's most iconic wildlife including gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and forest elephants.

Today, we're releasing a new report, Carving Up the Congo, which exposes how international logging companies are causing social chaos and wreaking environmental havoc. It also reveals how the World Bank, by far the largest donor to the DRC, is failing to stop this destruction whilst the rainforest is being sold off under the illusion that it will alleviate poverty in one of the poorest countries on Earth.

Our report shows how, in spite of a moratorium on new logging that has been in place since 2002, over 15 million hectares of rainforest have been granted to the logging industry - that's an area five times the size of Belgium, and much of this is in areas that are vital for protecting biodiversity.

Taxes paid by the companies for the rights to log the forest should be going to local forest communities to provide essential services that those of us in developed nations take for granted like education and healthcare. But even the World Bank admits that over the last three years, not a single penny paid by the logging companies has reached local communities. This leaves these people not only without the forest that provided their food, shelter and medicine, but without the benefits they had been promised.

s. e. anderson (author of "The Black Holocaust for Beginners" - Writers + Readers)+ http://blackeducator.blogspot.com