Subject: Help the indigenous peoples of the Congo to be heard above the sound of the chainsaws
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 12:15:50 +0000 (UTC)
Organization: Rainforest Foundation
The rainforests of the Congo—which are the second largest on
Earth after those of the Amazon—are imminently threatened. New
laws being introduced under the guidance of the World Bank, as well as
zoning of the country's forests, will potentially see an
area the size of France handed out to logging companies.
35 million people (75% of Congo's national population) live in and around the forests, and depend on it for food, shelter, and natural medicines. The forests are also home to thousands of plant and animal species, including the lowland Gorilla, chimpanzees, forest elephants, and the rare okapi. So far, the rainforests have largely been spared widespread destruction.
However, the new laws, which are due to come into effect this year, will encourage a massive expansion of the timber industry, including a 60-fold increase in industrial logging.
This could be the start of the first major environmental and humanitarian catastrophe of the 21st century.
The Rainforest Foundation, along with dozens of environmental and human rights groups from the Democratic Republic of Congo is calling on the World Bank to immediately halt plans for the expansion of industrial logging of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and to ensure that the rights of people living in the forest are respected.
Please spare two minutes to sign the online World Bank petition and forward this email on to your friends and colleagues?
The Rainforest Foundation