Forest CoverTotal forest area: 22,471,000 ha % of land area: 65.8%
Primary forest cover: 7,464,000 ha % of land area: 21.9% % total forest area: 33.2%
Deforestation Rates, 2000-2005Annual change in forest cover: -17,000 ha Annual deforestation rate: -0.1% Change in defor. rate since '90s: 0.8% Total forest loss since 1990: -255,000 ha Total forest loss since 1990:-1.1%
Primary or "Old-growth" forests Annual loss of primary forests: -5600 ha Annual deforestation rate: -0.1% Change in deforestation rate since '90s: 0.7% Primary forest loss since 1990: -28,000 ha Primary forest loss since 1990:-1.1%
Forest ClassificationPublic: 100% Private: 0% Other: 0% Use Production: 88.2% Protection: n/a Conservation: 4.4% Social services: n/a Multiple purpose: 7.4% None or unknown: n/a
Forest Area BreakdownTotal area: 22,471,000 ha Primary: 7,464,000 ha Modified natural: 14,957,000 ha Semi-natural: n/a Production plantation: 51,000 ha Production plantation: n/a
PlantationsPlantations, 2005: 51,000 ha % of total forest cover: 0.2% Annual change rate (00-05): n/a
Carbon storageAbove-ground biomass: 8,356 M t Below-ground biomass: 2,005 M t
Area annually affected byFire: 17,000 ha Insects: n/a Diseases: n/a
Number of tree species in IUCN red listNumber of native tree species: 334 Critically endangered: n/a Endangered: n/a Vulnerable: n/a
The Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) is second only to the Democratic Republic of Congo in terms of tropical rainforest coverage among African countries. It is also strikingly diverse for its size—home to 597 species of birds, 166 mammals, 58 amphibians, 149 reptiles, and more than 6,000 species of plants.
Congo's forests are highly threatened by logging, colonization of forest lands, and poaching of animal species. Industrial logging has accelerated since the government privatized the timber industry, and much of the new exploitation is taking place in the relatively untouched forests of northern Congo, not in the easily accessible southern region where timber harvesting has historically taken place.
The Republic of Congo was once one of Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it may increasingly look towards its forests as a source of revenue.
While the government of Congo likes to claim that it has a sustainable forest policy and has introduced legislation to limit what species can be extracted from its forests, reports from the ground indicate that logging companies may largely ignore these regulations and log intensely. Further, illegal logging is a well-documented problem, and corruption undermines even the most basic enforcement efforts.
The hunting of wild game is a major conservation concern in Congo. Bushmeat hunting proliferates in logging camps and along logging roads, while elephants are poached for their ivory. Poor rural colonists use logging roads to access hunting grounds and establish homesteads, where they collect fuelwood and use slash-and-burn techniques to clear rainforest for subsistence agriculture.
Nouabalé-Ndoki is one of Congo's best known and most important national parks. Located deep in the Congo Basin rainforest, this part is home to gorillas, chimps, forest elephants, buffalos, and bongos. It, together with Lobéké National Park in Cameroon and Dzanga-Ndoki National Park in the Central African Republic, forms a giant protected area consisting of primary lowland rainforest. In total, almost 16 percent of Congo's land area is under some form of protection.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated from mongabay.com operations (server, data transfer, travel) are mitigated through an association with Anthrotect,
an organization working with Afro-indigenous and Embera communities to protect forests in Colombia's Darien region. Anthrotect is protecting the habitat of mongabay's mascot: the scale-crested pygmy tyrant.
"Rainforest" is used interchangeably with "rain forest" on this site. "Jungle" is generally not used.