WWF in the Republic of Congo
Landscape and Biodiversity
- Large scale continuous lowland rainforest ecosystems (northern Congo and southern Congo)
- Forest elephants
- Great apes: western lowland gorilla and chimpanzee
- Other large mammals, such as bongo, forest buffalo, leopard, hippo
- Three species of crocodile
- Birds: grey parrots, crowned eagles, etc.
Oil accounts for almost 70% of GDP, 85% of government revenue, and 90% of exports. Forests cover 60% of the country, and the forestry sector provides an estimated 11,000 direct jobs and 4% of export value. Production forests cover 135,000 km2. Congo also has large agricultural potential and the palm oil sector is being developed.
DISCOVER WWF'S PROGRAMMES IN CONGO
COUNTRY KEY FACTS
- Surface: 342,000km2 (similar to Finland or Malaysia)
- Population: 4.6 million (2014 estimate)
- Human Development Index: ranks 140 out of 187 (2013)
- Literacy rate: 82%
- Life expectancy: 58 years (2014)
Major threats to conservation
2. Increasing commercial bushmeat trade, favored by a rapidly improving road network.
3. Weak law enforcement and corruption.
4. Trade in leopard skins, grey parrots and pangolin scales.
5. Increasing logging areas, which threaten the last unprotected old growth forest ecosystems.
6. Rapid infrastructure development (roads)
7. Mining and associated infrastructure development
8. Artisanal gold mining
9. New settlements in previously uninhabited areas
10. Hydropower development in sites of high biodiversity importance.