Lefteris Pitarakis
Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown, left, looks on as Norwegian Prime Minister Jens
Stoltenberg, right, laughs after signing the Congo Basin Forest Fund at Lancaster House
in central London, Tuesday, June 17, 2008. (AP)

Large Fund Launched to Protect Congo Rainforest

June 19, 2008 12:41 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The campaign to protect the Congo basin in central Africa is the world’s biggest effort so far to battle deforestation.

30-Second Summary

The Congo Basin Forest Fund was launched Tuesday and aims to help African governments and residents of the rainforest prevent deforestation, according to a Guardian report.

One of the first projects that the fund will underwrite is an advanced satellite camera that will monitor deforestation levels. The RALCam3 high-resolution camera will provide detailed views of the forest from space.

“We are pledging to work together to secure the future of one of the world’s last remaining ancient forests,” said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the project’s launch.

The Congo basin houses the world’s second-largest rainforest—after the Amazon—and includes more than a quarter of the world’s remaining tropical rainforest. It is being cut down at a rapid rate due to logging, mining, and felling trees for firewood and subsistence farming.

The United Nations has warned that more than 66 percent of the region’s rainforest could be lost by 2040 if deforestation continues.

The governments of Great Britain and Norway are together providing 100 million pounds to the initiative. Environmental activist Wangari Maathai and former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin will be co-chairs of the fund.

Headline Links: ‘Biggest Ever Forest Protection Fund Targets Congo Basin’

Background: The Congo rainforest

Related Topics: The Amazon

Key Players: Wangari Maathai, Paul Martin

Reference: Congo Basin Forest Fund, tropical deforestation


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