|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 partnershipwith 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.