This christmas, Help make conservation sustainable
This year, the Rainforest Foundation UK is asking for your help to make conservation more sustainable.
The Congo Basin in Central Africa is home to the second largest rainforest in the world, millions of people, and many species of plants and wildlife found nowhere else on earth. Indigenous and forest-dependent communities living there have unparalleled ecological knowledge and their traditional livelihoods are strongly linked to sustainable rainforest conservation.
Evidence from around the world shows that rainforests thrive when they are managed by local communities themselves. In Africa’s Congo Basin, however, indigenous people have been routinely evicted from their traditional lands to make way for top-down conservation projects, and the rainforest is suffering as a result.
Lac Tele in the Republic of Congo is one example. Home to 16,000 forest-dependant people and a wide array of wildlife, on paper Lac Tele is one of very few ‘community’ reserves in the Congo Basin. In practice, our investigations found that even here communities are being denied their rights to land and livelihood.
Strict enforcement measures make it a struggle for local people to feed their families. Communities report living in fear of park authorities, facing violence whether or not they dare break the rules of the reserve.
"The reserve is bringing more and more suffering. We want a balance between conservation and our (livelihood) needs.” -Kinami community member, Lac Tele
We want to see a new model of conservation in the Congo, one that protects the wildlife and the people who live there for future generations to come. We’re working with our local partners on the ground in the Congo Basin to help make this a reality, so forest communities can claim their rights to land and livelihood while protecting the rainforest.
Please help us achieve this by donating to our CHRISTMAS APPEAL.