Five facts about Congo rainforests
1. The Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, covers an area the size of Western Europe and is home to the second largest rainforest on the planet. Only the Amazon rainforest is larger.
2. Congo rainforests have been inhabited by humans for thousands of years, first by hunter-gatherer peoples such as the Batwa, Bafoto and Bambuti ‘Pygmies’, and later by agricultural communities including the Bantu peoples.
3. The logging of Congo’s most ‘productive’ forests would affect up to 40 million people - 70 percent of DRC’s population – who depend on the forests for at least part of their livelihoods.
4. Rare, fascinating and endangered species -- chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, bonobos, okapi and white rhinos– inhabit the Congo rainforests. Some of these are found nowhere else on Earth.
5. Despite a government ban since 2002, Congolese officials have handed out 15 million hectares in new logging permits – an area about the size of England