Congo | AWF

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Congo

The Congo Landscape.
An ecological paradise.

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Congo

Land

  • Quick Facts:

    Area

    7,237,263 hectares (27,943 sq. mi.)

  • Key Landmarks

    1. Congo Basin
    2. Lopori River
    3. Maringa River
    4. Maringa/Lopori–Wamba Landscape

     

  • Animals

    Bonobo, chimpanzee, mountain gorilla, forest elephant, bongo, Congo peacock


Overview

The Congo Landscape is home to people, wildlife, and the second largest rainforest in the world.

Situated between the Lopori and Maringa Rivers, the Congo Landscape features mesmerizing scenery and wildlife. It holds the Congo Basin, home to 1,000 bird species, more than 400 fish species, three of the world’s five great apes, 10,000 species of plants, and the second-largest tropical forest in the world.

The Democratic Republic of Congo itself is recovering from years of civil war and striving to rebuild the livelihoods of its people, infrastructure, and environment. 

Tags: West/Central Africa, DRC

Challenges

Years of civil war and deforestation are taking its toll on both people and bonobos.

Within the Congo Landscape, years of civil unrest have virtually destroyed the infrastructure along the banks of the Congo and Maringa Rivers that allowed farmers to bring their crops to market. As the civil war in the DRC continued, impoverished farmers fled deep into the forest in search of food. This led to deforestation and an increase in the hunting and selling of bushmeat, which has reduced the number of bonobos to an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 left in the world.

Solutions

Our solutions to the challenges in the Congo Landscape:

  • Protecting the land within the Congo Landscape

    AWF is undertaking many efforts to help protect the land, including creating national reserves to conserve the tropical forest ecosystem.

    In 2006, we established the landmark Lomako–Yokokala Faunal Reserve in partnership with the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN), DRC’s wildlife authority. This reserve helps protect not only bonobos, but many other species. This is DRC’s first reserve to formally recognize the need for local community participation in developing a management plan.

  • Developing sustainable livelihoods for people within the Congo Landscape

    Many of the communities here are struggling with poverty, so improving people’s long-term livelihood is essential.

    AWF created the Congo Shipping Project as a means to help. The civil war destroyed the infrastructure and the only means farmers along the banks of the Congo and Maringa Rivers had to bring their goods to market. Struggling for their own survival, they fled into the forest for food. To help farmers return to their fields—rather than stay in forests and degrade those resources—AWF initiated the return of cargo boats to the Congo and Maringa Rivers.

    To help transport the farmers’ agricultural goods to DRC’s main market in Kinshasa and Mbandaka, USAID provided us with a boat and two barges that have a carrying capacity of 600 tons. The round-trip journey takes two months and stops in multiple ports collecting goods from locals to sell, providing a sustainable livelihood for many. This cargo boat also delivers vital humanitarian supplies.

     

Projects

Will you show those living in the Congo Landscape your support?

With your help, AWF can continue working on vital programs like helping farmers sell their crops in faraway markets or reducing deforestation in critical bonobo habitat. Donate for a cause that will help the people, their land, and wildlife conservation within the Congo Landscape.

 

  • Iyondji Community Bonobo Reserve
    A new community reserve for the endangered bonobo

    Bonobos in danger. 

    One of the greatest threats to wildlife in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is loss of habitat due to land conversion, human encroachment,...

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  • Bili-Uele Chimp Survey
    Protecting chimps in the Democratic Republic of Congo

    Humans remain a threat to chimps.

    The 60,000-square-kilometer Bili-Uélé Domaine de Chasse is the largest protected area in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and...

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  • REFED
    Empowering women in Central Africa.

    War has destroyed much of DRC’s infrastructure. 

    Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have faced many challenges as a result of ongoing conflict and social...

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  • Ilima Primary School
    Going beyond the building to provide a holistic education in DRC

    In a remote part of rural DRC, AWF is building a different kind of primary school.

    When AWF arrived in Ilima, the local school was a ramshackle building that failed to serve the...

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  • Congo Shipping Project
    Growing the DRC's agricultural options

    Civil war has led to poverty and environmental degradation. 

    Following years of social turmoil and civil war, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was left without...

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