Sunday, June 19, 2011

Congo Basin: the Green Heart of Africa

In the green heart of the African continent, the Congo Basin forests are a haven for indigenous peoples, elephants, gorillas and a bewildering array of other amazing wildlife.
One common thread links the fates of these actors: the continued existence of the world's second largest tropical rainforest expanse.

Huge and wild… but for how long?
We cannot take the existence of the Congo Basin forests for granted. Today, unregulated and often illegal extractive activities are pushing ever further into the Congo Basin. The results? Between 1990 and 2000, approximately 91,000 km2 of forests were lost in Central Africa.1 That represents an area about 3 times the size of Belgium.
Working out solutions
There are solutions to these problems. Together with its partners, WWF has developed its Green Heart of Africa Initiative, reaching out at all levels – from villages to presidential offices – to protect and sustainably manage one of the most outstanding forest and freshwater ecosystems in the world, while satisfying Central Africa’s pressing development needs.

Vision for the Green Heart of Africa
In order to stimulate the transformational changes required, and make a significant contribution towards realising this ambitious vision, WWF will targets its efforts towards contributing to the following three high level goals:

Goal 1:
Biodiversity – By 2020, 15 Million hectares of new Protected Areas are gazetted and all PAs are effectively managed and sustainably funded in priority landscapes.

Goal 2:
Biodiversity – By 2020, the rate of net deforestation and associated CO2 emissions are reduced to zero, and bushmeat trade and wildlife off-take are reduced to sustainable levels from priority landscapes.

Goal 3:
Footprint – By 2020, at least 50 per cent of logging concessions (estimated at 25 million ha) are credibly certified, and all major oil and gas, mining, hydropower, agro-industries and associated infrastructure projects which impact priority landscapes implement social and environmental standards that minimize their direct and indirect impacts (on biodiversity and livelihoods.)

Transformational strategies
To achieve these goals, WWF's Green Heart of Africa initiative has developed four transformational strategies. They are intended to lead the way for significant, sustainable and exemplary action.

1: Secure sustainable and innovative financing for conservation through a range of financial mechanisms such as the precedent setting Tri National de la Sangha (TNS) Trust Fund, REDD/Carbon markets and payment for environmental services.

2: Strengthen governance by empowering local people as legal owners and active managers of their natural resources, so that they receive an equitable share of the resulting benefits, and incentives for sustainable management.

3: Best business practices that minimise environmental risk are adopted by private sector and Government through the development and implementation of credible certification and internationally recognised social and environmental standards in all key extractive industry sectors. (Region wide best practice standards for key sectors are adopted, and implemented at the national level.)

4: Build on the transformational Yaoundé Heads of State Summit process by strengthening institutional partnerships including COMIFAC (Central African Forests Commission) and Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), to ensure that existing commitments are fully realised, and that new and ambitious conservation achievements are leveraged and supported by CBPF partners (including China), and that the COMIFAC countries become a unified force in negotiation of International Treaties.


  1. I think you don't hear much about the issues the congo faces simply because for many it's not effecting them yet. we need to people wake up and realize how important our rain forests are.

  2. Jim people have been saying that for years. People wont start noticing until after it's too late.

  3. It is easy to not care when you never see or experience it. Hopefully an agreement is made, or the situation gets better in some way. Not only for this, but for many problems plaguing the Earth.

  4. Great blog as always, big up your blogspot here!