Planting Project: Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.)
While deforestation has a powerfully-negative impact on the climate, it also leads to species extinction.
Did you know that in just the past 40 years, 58% of the world’s diverse species have gone extinct?
The DRC is no exception. In fact, it is one of the areas being hit hardest. While there are many causes, illegal logging has opened up vast areas for poachers to enter and kill wildlife.
More than 60% of forest elephants are gone.
But elephants aren’t the only species in danger. There are countless. This is because the D.R. Congo is classified as a primary forest. In primary forests, there is an extremely high amount of biodiversity—the highest of all forest types in fact.
And every single year the DRC loses 769,000 acres of forest cover. Each acre provides habitat to countless species, but as these trees are cut down, plant and animal life is forced to migrate for survival. And many times, they are unable to and instead die out.
- 2,100 different species of animals live in the Congo, of which 6.6% are endemic (which means they don’t exist anywhere else on the planet)
- 11,000 different species of plant life, of which 10% are endemic
One species in particular facing eminent extinction is the Lowland Gorilla. The Kahuzi Biega National Park is one of the last remaining conservation areas for these gorillas—and it is under attack. Deforestation continues to remove the buffer zone of trees protecting these gorillas as loggers and poachers destroy trees in search of these amazing animals.
For these reasons, 8 Billion Trees has partnered with the Pole Pole Foundation to begin restoring the buffer zone that will protect the lowland gorillas and countless other species. As trees are planted in the region, local peoples will be able to coppice the trees responsibly for materials instead of trespassing into the conservation areas to illegally and recklessly remove trees.
Together, we can make an impact in the D.R. Congo by not only planting trees and saving species, but also by educating local peoples to create a permanent change for the better.