The second green lung on the planet is being threatened by the growing demand for food, wood, and coal, the lack of economic opportunities, and the illegal trade in species.
The giant forest is distributed in six countries: Congo Democratic Republic, Congo Republic, Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Equatorial Guinea.
“We urgently need to understand how Central African forests work to create sustainable plans that benefit communities, climate and biodiversity at the same time,” said Paolo Cerutti, one of the world’s leading experts on the subject and responsible for the Training, Research and Development Project.
There’s a vast flora that has more than 10 thousand plan species and is rich in both plant and animal biodiversity. The Congo Basin also regulates the climate and rain patterns in the world.
The main causes for the region degradation are coal production and slash and burn agriculture, followed by logging and mining.
“Normally, artisanal loggers selectively cut the trees that are of interest to the joinery and construction sectors, then the local population cuts the rest of the trees to make charcoal and, in the last stage, burns all the vegetation in the region to grow food such as manioc. Productivity is very low and the land soon runs out, which is why the cycle repeats itself elsewhere, progressively devouring the forest” explains scientist Silvia Ferrari, cited by the newspaper El Pais.
Read more: https://greensavers.sapo.pt/o-segundo-pulmao-verde-do-planeta-esta-a-ser-ameacado-pelo-desmatamento/