tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/republic%20of%20congo1 republic of congo news from mongabay.com 2014-09-12T17:37:09Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13773 2014-09-11T21:23:00Z 2014-09-12T17:37:09Z Illegal tropical deforestation driven globally by “agro-conversion” <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0911-gorilla-rhett-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly 50 percent of tropical deforestation to make room for commercial agriculture between 2000 and 2012 was done so illegally. That’s a key finding of a report published by the U.S.-based nonprofit organization Forest Trends looking at the global tide of tropical forest “agro-conversion.” Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.492965 16.863132 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13717 2014-08-26T20:18:00Z 2014-08-27T16:58:24Z How do we save the world's vanishing old-growth forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/sabah_1454.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There's nothing in the world like a primary forest, which has never been industrially logged or cleared by humans. They are often described as cathedral-like, due to pillar-like trees and carpet-like undergrowth. Yet, the world's primary forests&#8212;also known as old-growth forests&#8212;are falling every year, and policy-makers are not doing enough to stop it. Jeremy Hance 5.159093 116.924597 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13189 2014-05-06T19:49:00Z 2014-05-06T20:03:57Z Almost 90 percent of Republic of the Congo's lowland forests open to logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0506.brnxz_482.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although the Republic of the Congo has opened up nearly 90 percent of its lowland forests to logging, the majority of the logging occurring in the country is still illegal, according to a new report from the Chatham House. In fact the UK policy institute finds that illegal logging in the Republic of the Congo may make up as much as 70-75 percent of the industry. Jeremy Hance 2.169665 17.210078 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13061 2014-04-08T22:47:00Z 2014-04-08T23:06:28Z Emissions from rainforest logging average 16% of those from deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/gabon/150/gabon_2655.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Carbon emissions from selective logging operations in tropical rainforests are roughly a sixth of those from outright forest clearing, finds a new study that evaluated 13 forestry concessions in six countries. The study analyzed carbon losses from elements of logging operations, including timber extraction, collateral damage to surrounding vegetation, and logging infrastructure like roads and skid trails. Rhett Butler 2.742787 -57.467165 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12960 2014-03-20T19:44:00Z 2014-03-21T16:51:09Z Indigenous people witness climate change in the Congo Rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0320Acongo150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous communities in the Republic of Congo are observing climate change even though they have no knowledge of the science, according to a unique collaboration between the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) and local communities. The environmental changes witnessed by the locals in the Congo rainforest include increased temperature, less rainfall and alterations to the seasons, much as expected under global climate change. Tiffany Roufs 1.653836 18.849670 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12220 2013-10-21T19:15:00Z 2013-10-21T19:39:55Z Orphaned gorillas successfully reintroduced where apes had been hunted to extinction The reintroduction of captive gorillas to areas where they have been hunted to extinction appears to working, suggesting a possible new front in efforts to save great apes, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Oryx</i>. Rhett Butler -2.161047 14.001281 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11866 2013-08-01T20:44:00Z 2013-08-01T20:54:44Z Elephant killer gets five years in prison in the Republic of Congo The Congolese Supreme Court has ordered Ghislain Ngondjo (known as Pepito) to five years in prison for slaughtering dozens of elephants for their ivory tusks. The five year sentence is the maximum in the Republic of Congo for poaching. Ngondjo was considered the "kingpin" of an elephant poaching group; in addition to killing pachyderms, Ngondjo recruited new poachers and made death threats to park rangers and staff in Odzala National Park. Jeremy Hance -0.875782 14.822216 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11565 2013-06-09T04:10:00Z 2013-06-09T04:16:34Z Malaysian palm oil firm to establish $744m, 180,000 ha plantation in Congo Wah Soeng Berhad, a Malaysian conglomerate, will invest $744 million over the next decade to establish oil palm plantations in Republic of Congo Rhett Butler 0.380699 15.425853 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10977 2013-03-04T23:05:00Z 2013-03-04T23:52:03Z 62% of all Africa's forest elephants killed in 10 years (warning: graphic images) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/gabon/150/gabon-23070.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than 60 percent of Africa's forest elephants have been killed in the past decade due to the ivory trade, reports a new study published in the online journal <i>PLOS ONE</i>. The study warns that the diminutive elephant species &#8212; genetically distinct from the better-known savanna elephant &#8212; is rapidly heading toward extinction. Rhett Butler 1.418207 16.326971 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10794 2013-01-31T18:20:00Z 2013-01-31T18:52:40Z Gorilla paradise: new park safeguards 15,000 western lowland gorillas In 2008 the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced a jaw-dropping discovery: remote swamp forests in northern Republic of Congo contained a stunning population of 125,000 western lowland gorillas that had somehow gone unnoticed by scientists. At the time the President of WCS, Steven E. Sanderson, called the area the "mother lode of gorillas," and expressed hope that the discovery would lead to a new park. Well, late last year, a park was finalized. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10221 2012-10-01T12:05:00Z 2012-10-02T04:31:20Z Rarest gorillas lose half their habitat in 20 years Cross River gorillas and eastern gorillas lost more than half their habitat since the early 1990s due to deforestation, logging, and other human activities, finds a comprehensive new assessment across great apes' range in West and Central Africa. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10000 2012-08-13T12:34:00Z 2012-12-02T22:25:30Z Turning gorilla poachers into conservationists in the Congo [warning: graphic photos] <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/ESI-104.hunter.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although founded only four years ago, Endangered Species International-Congo, has ambitious plans to protect dwindling Western gorilla populations and aid local people in the Republic of the Congo. The organization, an offshoot of Endangered Species International (ESI), has been spending the last few years studying the bushmeat trade in Pointe-Noire, the country's second largest city, and developing plans for turning hunters into conservationists. Jeremy Hance -4.814575 11.887836 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9937 2012-07-30T17:29:00Z 2012-07-30T17:38:51Z 10 African countries to develop satellite-based deforestation tracking systems with help of Brazil Ten tropical African countries will receive training and support to develop national forest monitoring systems, reports the United Nations. Brazil, which has an advanced deforestation tracking system, will guide the initiative in partnership with the Central Africa Forests Commission (COMIFAC) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9766 2012-07-02T18:23:00Z 2012-07-02T18:28:06Z 10,000 sq mi of Congo rainforest declared World Heritage site Central Africa has the newest World Heritage site. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9637 2012-06-08T03:23:00Z 2012-06-08T05:06:30Z Elephant numbers halved in Central Africa in 5 years Elephant numbers in areas surveyed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Central Africa halved between 2006 and 2011, hinting at the carnage wrought by the surging commercial ivory trade and demonstrating a need to boost protection efforts, said the Bronx Zoo-based conservation group. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9469 2012-05-02T17:34:00Z 2012-05-02T17:40:55Z Bigger is better for gorillas A new study confirms that bigger and stronger silverback gorillas have more success finding mates and raising offspring. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9122 2012-02-16T20:19:00Z 2012-02-16T20:19:41Z Republic of the Congo expands park to protect fearless chimps <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/fearlesschimp.727553.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Republic of the Congo has expanded its Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park by 37,295 hectares (144 square miles) to include a dense swamp forest, home to a population of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) that show no fear of humans. Known as the Goualougo Triangle, the swamp forest is also home to forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) and western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). The expansion of the park to include the Goualougo Triangle makes good on a government commitment from 2001. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9000 2012-01-24T22:55:00Z 2012-01-25T22:04:20Z 87 marine mammals still eaten by people Threats to marine mammals usually include climate change, drowning as by-catch, pollution, depletion of prey, but what about eating marine mammals? A new study in Biological Conservation finds that a surprising 87 marine mammals&#8212;including polar bears, small whales, and dolphins&#8212;have been eaten as food since 1990 in at least 114 countries. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8774 2011-12-01T18:59:00Z 2011-12-01T19:09:42Z Community mapping of African rainforests could show way forward for preservation, REDD <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/mappingforrights.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new initiative to place community mapping of central African rainforests online could prove key to local rights in the region, says the UK-based NGO Rainforest Foundation. Working with forest communities in five African countries, Rainforest Foundation has helped create digital maps of local forests, including use areas, parks, and threats such as logging and mining. The website, MappingForRights.org, includes interactive maps, photos, and video. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8287 2011-08-16T20:26:00Z 2011-08-16T20:29:25Z World nations see six all-time record high temperatures, no lows so far in 2011 Eight months into the year, six nations have seen record high temperatures, including Kuwait, Iraq, Armenia, Iran, and Republic of the Congo, reports Jeff Master's Wunderblog. To date no record lows have been recorded in any country in the world so far. This is similar, though not quite as extreme, to last year when twenty countries broke all time highs with none hitting an all time low. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8268 2011-08-10T15:46:00Z 2011-08-10T15:54:15Z Congo to 'reforest' with plantations across one million hectares The Republic of the Congo has announced a new program to create plantations across one million hectares (2.47 million acres) of degraded forest lands. The program, known as the national program of afforestation and reforestation (RAN), is being pushed to support various industries, carbon sequestration and to take pressure off native forests. According to Reuters, the Republic of the Congo is seeking donor and international investment of $2.6 billion for the initiative. However, plantations are controversial in conservation-terms as they store significantly less carbon and support little biodiversity when compared to natural forest. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8066 2011-06-27T16:24:00Z 2011-06-27T16:29:08Z Over 80 percent of urban Congolese eat bushmeat Bushmeat is one of the major threats to wildlife in parts of Africa: large and medium-sized animals are vanishing from regions in a trend dubbed by biologists the 'empty forest syndrome'. A number of popularly consumed species are also threatened with global extinction. A new study in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science surveyed 1,050 households in Brazzaville, the capital of Republic of the Congo, regarding their consumption of bushmeat only to find that the practice was practically universal: 88.3 percent of households in Brazzaville consumed bushmeat. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7982 2011-06-06T23:29:00Z 2011-06-07T01:33:09Z Congo meeting fails to make forest commitment Delegates from tropical forest countries meeting in Republic of Congo failed to come up with a formal commitment to protect rainforests, reports <i>Nature News</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7756 2011-04-18T03:33:00Z 2011-04-18T03:47:57Z Tropical countries aim for global forest pact Representatives from more than 30 countries are expected to hammer out a formal agreement for future discussions on forest and climate issues when they meet next month in the Republic of Congo, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7336 2011-01-24T22:35:00Z 2011-01-24T22:47:22Z Chinese citizen caught smuggling ivory from the Republic of Congo A Chinese national was caught attempting to smuggle 22 pounds (10 kilos) of ivory out of the Republic of Congo on Saturday, according to the AFP. Officials confiscated five elephant tusks, 80 ivory chopsticks, 3 ivory carvings, and a number of smaller ivory-made items. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6817 2010-09-27T14:04:00Z 2010-09-27T14:11:58Z Financial crisis pummels wildlife and people in the Congo rainforest Spreading over three central African nations—Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Republic of Congo—the Sangha tri-national landscape is home to a variety of actors: over 150,000 Bantu people and nearly 20,000 pygmies; endangered species including forest elephants and gorillas; and, not least, the Congo rainforest ecosystem itself, which here remains largely intact. Given its interplay of species-richness, primary rainforest, and people—many of whom are among the poorest in the world—the landscape became internationally important in 2002 when under the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) conservation groups and development agencies agreed to work together to preserve the ecosystems while providing development in the region. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5671 2010-02-16T19:17:00Z 2011-05-15T02:39:29Z 12-year-old on a mission to save Africa's most unusual animal, the okapi, an interview with Spencer Tait <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/0112081300_nehu.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>Anyone who says a kid can't change the world hasn't met Spencer Tait. At the age of five Spencer had his first encounter with the Congo's elusive okapi at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Spencer—now 12 years old—describes that encounter as 'love at first sight'. He explains that while the okapi "looks like a mix between a zebra, horse, and giraffe [...] it's really only related to the giraffe." Seeing the okapi at the museum led Spencer not only to learn all about the okapi, but also to find out what was threatening the animal's survival, including the long civil conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the okapi's home. Most kids—and adults too—would probably leave it at that, but not Spencer. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5582 2010-02-01T21:45:00Z 2010-07-24T14:31:29Z Stopping wildlife trafficking in Congo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/10/0201leopard150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The bushmeat trade in the Congo basin has been widely publicized but poorly addressed. While fines and sentences exist for wildlife trafficking, they have traditionally been poorly enforced due to corruption, poor governance, and attentions focused on other priorities. Major traffickers, who tend to be rich and well-connected, trade with impunity, knowing that a well-placed bribe or a phone call can get them off with little more than a slap on a wrist. But the days of privilege may be drawing to a close in Republic of Congo thanks to the efforts of PALF [Projet d'Appui à l'Application de la Loi sur la Faune], a Brazzaville-based NGO which is working to build the capacity of Congolese authorities to enforce wildlife laws. In the process, PALF is helping root out corruption and raise awareness of the plight of the country's increasingly threatened wildlife, including forest elephants, big cats, chimps, and gorillas. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4643 2009-06-16T17:42:00Z 2009-06-16T17:49:57Z First captive bonobos released into the wild A group of 17 orphaned bonobos are being released into the wild for the first time this month. Set free by the world’s only bonobo sanctuary, Lola ya Bonobo in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the bonobos will be released into a 50,000 acre (20,000 hectare) forest where the species has been absent for years. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4627 2009-06-11T14:54:00Z 2009-06-11T21:04:36Z Range extended for world’s most mysterious gorilla <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/Gorilla-small-2.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced yesterday the discovery of eastern lowland gorilla nests in an unexplored area of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), expanding the range of this little-known subspecies by 30 miles (50 kilometers). The eastern lowland gorilla, also known as Grauer’s gorilla, is currently listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. Scientists estimate that the gorilla has as few as 8,000 individual left. Although closely related to mountain gorillas, the eastern lowland gorilla is the world’s largest living primate, weighing over 500 pounds at maximum, and is endemic to the DRC. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4571 2009-05-25T18:41:00Z 2009-05-27T17:12:21Z New rainforest reserve in Congo benefits bonobos and locals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/7_Kokolopori_girls-2.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A partnership between local villages and conservation groups, headed up by the Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI), has led to the creation of a new 1,847 square mile (4,875 square kilometer) reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The reserve will save some of the region’s last pristine forests: ensuring the survival of the embattled bonobo—the least-known of the world’s four great ape species—and protecting a wide variety of biodiversity from the Congo peacock to the dwarf crocodile. However, the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve is worth attention for another reason: every step of its creation—from biological surveys to reserve management—has been run by the local Congolese NGO and villages of Kokolopori. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4535 2009-05-11T14:46:00Z 2009-05-12T01:19:45Z The EU and Republic of Congo announce system to eradicate illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/09/0511.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Republic of Congo and the EU have announced a new system to ensure that by 2011 no illegal timber will reach European Union member nations from the Republic of Congo. Under the system all wood products will be required to carry a license showing that the timber was obtained legally. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4488 2009-04-20T20:45:00Z 2009-04-20T20:54:51Z Republic of Congo to turn over 25 M acres of land to South African farmers The government of Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) has offered 25 million acres (10 million hectares) of land to South African farmers in an effort to improve the central African nation's food security, reports Reuters. The area is nearly twice the amount of arable land in South Africa. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4457 2009-04-10T04:34:00Z 2009-05-04T00:26:46Z African pygmies diverged from other humans 60,000 years ago Around 60,000 years ago the ancestors of modern African Pygmies, known worldwide for their small-stature, separated from local farmer populations, according to new genetic research published in <i>PLoS Genetics</i>. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4456 2009-04-09T18:07:00Z 2009-05-04T00:26:57Z Vanishing forest elephants are the Congo's greatest cultivators <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/gabon-23100-1.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study finds that forest elephants may be responsible for planting more trees in the Congo than any other species or ghenus. Conducting a thorough survey of seed dispersal by forest elephants, Dr. Stephen Blake, formerly of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and now of the Mac Planck Institute for Ornithology, and his team found that forest elephants consume more than 96 species of plant seeds and can carry the seeds as far as 57 kilometers (35 miles) from their parent tree. Forest elephants are a subspecies of the more-widely known African elephant of the continent's great savannas, differing in many ways from their savanna-relations, including in their diet. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4421 2009-03-29T16:13:00Z 2009-03-29T17:00:55Z Flu epidemic killing bonobos in Congo sanctuary <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/kindu1-1-1.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Six bonobos, a species of chimpanzee, have died from a flu epidemic in a month at the Lola Ya Bonobo in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ten more have contracted the flu. “There is no fever. Antibiotics don’t do anything. The bonobos have severe respiratory infections and then they can’t breath for 3 days then they die,” writes a staff member on the sanctuary's blog through the conservation organization WildlifeDirect. The staff of Lola Ya Bonobo have sent out a plea for help and donations, as the flu continues to sweep through their center. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4420 2009-03-27T15:04:00Z 2009-05-04T18:40:01Z More than 300 gorillas butchered each year in the Republic of Congo During 2008 and early 2009, Endangered Species International (ESI) conducted monitoring activities using undercover methods at key markets in the city of Pointe Noire, the second biggest city in Congo. Findings reveal that 95 percent of the illegal bushmeat sold originates from the Kouilou region about 100-150 km northwest to Pointe Noire where primary and unprotected rainforest still remains. The Kouilou region is one the last reservoirs of biodiversity and endangered animals in the area. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3379 2008-10-27T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:32Z Forest elephants learn to avoid roads, behavior may lead to population decline Forest elephants in the Congo Basin have developed a new behavior: they are avoiding roads at all costs. A study published in PLoS One concludes that the behavior, which includes an unwillingness to cross roads, is further endangering the rare animals which are already threatened by poaching, development, and habitat loss. By avoiding roads, the elephants are increasingly confining themselves to smaller areas lacking enough habitat and resources. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3191 2008-08-27T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:50Z China's log imports fall 19% in first half of 2008 due to high prices China's imports of raw logs plunged 18.7 percent by volume for the first half of 2008 due to rising prices and a cooling Chinese economy, reports the <i>International Tropical Timber Organization</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3267 2008-08-05T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:07Z Massive gorilla population discovered in the Congo The world's known population of critically endangered western lowland gorillas has more than doubled following a new census that revealed some 125,000 in the Republic of Congo. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3087 2008-07-31T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:30Z Logging company Danzer accused of tax fraud in the Congo A major European logging company is using an elaborate profit-laundering system to smuggle timber revenue out of Africa and avoid paying taxes to the governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of the Congo, alleges a new report published by Greenpeace. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3029 2008-06-24T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:18Z Britain, Norway commit $210 million towards Congo rainforest conservation The governments of Britain and Norway last week announced a $211 million (108 million) initiative to conserve rainforests in the Congo Basin. The plan calls for the use of an advanced satellite camera to monitor deforestation in the region and funding for community-based conservation projects. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3043 2008-06-14T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:20Z Does logging contribute to AIDS deaths in Africa? Logging activities in tropical Africa may pose hidden health risks to wildlife and humans according to a veterinary pathobiologist speaking at a scientific conference in Paramaribo, Suriname. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2941 2008-05-29T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:02Z Congo pygmies use GPS to map eco-certified timber concession Loggers have teamed with indigenous Pygmies to establish the largest ever eco-certified logging scheme. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2946 2008-05-28T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:03Z Forest carbon credits could guide development in Congo An initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by offering carbon credits to countries that reduce deforestation may be one of the best mechanisms for promoting sustainable development in Central Africa says a remote sensing expert from the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC). Dr. Nadine Laporte, an associate scientist with WHRC who uses remote sensing to analyze land use change in Africa, says that REDD could protect forests, safeguard biodiversity, and improve rural livelihoods in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other Central African nations. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2963 2008-05-21T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:05Z Energy firm to mine oil sands in the Republic of Congo Eni SpA, one of Italy's largest energy companies, has signed an agreement to exploit oil sands in the Republic of Congo, reports <i>The Wall Street Journal</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2835 2008-03-10T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:30Z Biochar fund to fight hunger, energy poverty, deforestation, and global warming Biopact, a leading bioenergy web site, has announced the creation of a "Biochar Fund" to help poor farmers improve their quality of life without hurting the environment. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2753 2008-02-12T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:12Z First photos of face-to-face mating by gorillas in the wild Scientists have taken the first photos of face-to-face copulation by wild gorillas. The images were captured in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2117 2007-07-15T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:46:02Z NASA images show expansion of logging in Congo rainforest New high resolution images of logging roads in the Congo region of Africa are helping researchers understand the expansion of industrial logging in Central Africa. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2058 2007-06-07T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:45:50Z Logging roads rapidly expanding in Congo rainforest Logging roads are rapidly expanding in the Congo rainforest, report researchers who have constructed the first satellite-based maps of road construction in Central Africa. The authors say the work will help conservation agencies, governments, and scientists better understand how the expansion of logging is impacting the forest, its inhabitants, and global climate. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/1764 2007-04-25T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:44:54Z New railway will facilitate logging in Congo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/gabon/150/gabon_2597.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new 800-km railway backed by a South Korean consortium will boost logging in the Republic of Congo, reports the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) in its April 1 Tropical Timber Market Report. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/1836 2007-04-02T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:45:09Z Congo forest elephants declining from logging roads, illegal ivory <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/07/P_Scan14230.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fast-expanding logging roads in the Congo basin are becoming 'highways of death' for the fierce but elusive forest elephant, according to a new study published in the journal Public Library of Science. Logging roads both provide access to remote forest areas for ivory poachers and serve as conduits of advancing human settlement. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/1176 2006-11-01T04:28:00Z 2009-12-08T07:02:20Z Avoided deforestation could send $38 billion to third world under global warming pact <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/06/1031defor2.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Avoided deforestation will be a hot point of discussion at next week's climate meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. Already a coalition of 15 rainforest nations have proposed a plan whereby industrialized nations would pay them to protect their forests to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, last month Brazil -- which has the world's largest extent of tropical rainforests and the world's highest rate of forest loss -- said it promote a similar initiative at the talks. At stake: potentially billions of dollars for developing countries. When trees are cut greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere -- roughly 20 percent of annual emissions of such heat-trapping gases result from deforestation and forest degradation. Avoided deforestation is the concept where countries are paid to prevent deforestation that would otherwise occur. Policymakers and environmentalists alike find the idea attractive because it could help fight climate change at a low cost while improving living standards for some of the world's poorest people and preserving biodiversity and other ecosystem services. A number of prominent conservation biologists and development agencies including the World Bank and the U.N. have already endorsed the idea. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/612 2005-11-29T15:19:39Z 2008-12-29T06:42:21Z Rainforests worth $1.1 trillion for carbon alone in Coalition nations If a coalition of developing countries has its way, there could soon be new forests sprouting up in tropical regions. The group of ten countries, led by Papua New Guinea, has proposed that wealthy countries pay them to preserve their rainforests. The Coalition for Rainforest Nations argues that all countries should pay for the benefits -- from carbon sequestration to watershed protection -- that tropical rainforests provide. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/172 2005-06-05T15:19:39Z 2008-12-29T06:42:05Z The Congo rain forest, an overview of a threatened ecosystem Known as the heart of darkness by Joseph Conrad, the Congo region has long conjured up thoughts of pygmies, mythical beasts, dreadful plagues, and cannibals. It is a land made famous by the adventures of Stanley and Livingstone and known as a place of brutality and violence for its past -- the days of the Arab slave and ivory trade, its long history of tribal warfare -- and its present -- the ethnic violence and massacres of today. Rhett Butler