Something exceptional is happening in the vast rainforests in the north of the Republic of the Congo: loggers are at work. But they’re not destroying the environment; instead, they’re helping to preserve the tropical forests and their biodiversity. This small miracle is occurring because two timber companies have committed themselves to “sustainable” forestry in their territory – which covers an area half the size of Switzerland!
Their felling operations don’t even amount to one tree per hectare. And zones that are especially species-rich are left completely undisturbed by the chainsaws. That means that more than a quarter of the entire forest area is under protection. This selective timber use helps the animal world: the forest worked by the IFO timber company alone is home to 70,000 gorillas — more than anywhere else. Their population has remained stable for years.
This gentle approach to nature pays off for the timber companies since the forests regenerate after the logging work and can therefore be used in the future as well. The local people in one of the poorest regions of Central Africa also benefit. The timber industry creates thousands of desperately needed jobs and provides clean drinking water and healthcare. The inhabitants in the north of the Republic of the Congo have recognized that preserving the rainforests is also economically viable.
Responsible forestry in the Republic of the Congo — a role model for other tropical forests in the world.