The  tropical lowland forest of Central Africa is the second largest forest in 
the world, and home to an extraordinary range of biological diversity. 
Three of the world's four species of Great Apes  are  found  there  (gorillas, 
chimpanzees and bonobos), along with  half the elephants  of  Africa,  rare 
animals such as the bongo and the okapi, and  a  wealth  of different types 
of trees, plants and fruits.

They provide humans with food, shelter, wood, and   medicines, as well  as 
helping  to prevent global warming. The delicate balance  that exists within 
this ecosystem  is  now under threat. Poachers have brought some species 
to the brink of  extinction, irresponsible loggers have destroyed large areas 
of forest, and pressures from  an  increasing  human population have   seen 
large areas of wilderness converted into farmland. 
This excessive exploitation of the forest's natural resources means that the 
future is uncertain.

In partnership  with  the  Congolese  government, WCS-Congo is helping to 
ensure that these forests are protected. WCS currently helps manage three 
Protected  Areas,     the   Nouabalé-Ndoki     National    Park   (NNNP),  the 
Conkouati-Douli  National  Park  and   the   Lac Télé Community Reserve, as 
well as a protective 'buffer zone' around  NNNP.  This  partnership   between 
the   Congolese   government   and   WCS  ensures  that  these  zones  are 
effectively   managed,  working  towards  the  sustainable  management  of 
the region's natural resources.

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