It’s part of our planet’s second lung, and one of the largest expanses of virgin forest still remaining on earth. Seen from the window of a plane, the Congolese rainforest is a truly remarkable sight: a swathe of green treetops resembling a giant broccoli head that covers most of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As the world slowly awakens to the threat of climate change, the forest’s future has come into focus as a key issue in determining the longevity of our planet and life as we know it. While the Amazon and the forests of Southeast Asia have already shrunk as a result of logging, agriculture and mining, the Congolese rainforest has remained largely untouched. But in the past decade deforestation there has accelerated to about 1mha/year, mostly because of the expansion of agriculture and the production of charcoal, the only source of energy available to most of the population. Illegal logging has also taken off. This is due to demand from China as well as a growing local ...

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