The rainforest of the Congo, second largest in the world after the Amazon, faces multiple threats today. Logging, both legal and illegal, has stepped up considerably in recent years with barges moving the huge timbers down the Congo River to Kinshasa on their way to Europe (see The River’s News posting of 6/24/10).
In a recent blog Congo Disciples Communications Director Nathan Weteto reported a new threat to the rainforest of Equateur Province. Providing electricity for the city of Mbandaka, which is without power more than half the time, can’t be a bad idea. Or can it? Read on!
“The tropical rainforest is currently a world heritage that everyone should protect.
But now, the province of Equator province in the Democratic Republic of Congo is currently negotiating with Finnish businessmen to exploit the rainforest on a massive scale.
The project consists of cutting trees to use the wood to provide electricity 24 hours a day for the city of Mbandaka, the capital of Equator Province, a city whose economy cannot take off due to lack of electricity. Presented as such it is a wonderful and fabulous project, but what is the price?
Let’s stop this catastrophe if we can.”
The Rainforest Foundation of the UK sums up the case for preserving the jungles of the world, that of the Congo Basin being the largest after the Amazon:
“Worldwide, forest destruction generates more greenhouse gas emissions each year than do all the trains, planes and cars on the planet. So if we are to tackle global warming, there is an urgent need to find ways to reduce the 14% or so of global greenhouse gas emissions caused by forest destruction each year, and to keep the remaining forests standing.“
The non profit Greenpeace International opened an office in Kinshasa in 2008 to lead its campaign on behalf of the Congo’s rainforest. For information on the illegal logging taking place in Equateur Province go to: