Congo Basin Forest Partnership

The Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) is a United States-led initiative to promote the conservation and responsible management of the Congo Basin's tropical forests. Public-private partnerships help to support a network of national parks and protected areas, well-managed forestry concessions, and creation of economic opportunities for communities that depend upon the forest and wildlife resources of the Congo Basin in eleven ecologically sensitive and biologically diverse areas in six African countries.

 

The Congo Basin forest spans across much of Central Africa and is the second largest area of contiguous moist tropical forest left in the world. It hosts a wealth of biodiversity, including over 10,000 species of plants, 1,000 species of birds, and 400 species of mammals, and four of the world's five species of great apes. It is also home to more than 24 million people, many of which depend on the forest for their livelihoods. The Congo Basin forests not only play a critical role for global biodiversity conservation, they also provide vital regional and global ecological services as a carbon sink and catchment basin.

Although sustainable management of these resources is seen as critical to the economic development of the region, the Congo Basin forests are at risk from a complex set of threats, including persistent unsustainable extraction of timber and mineral resources, agricultural expansion, an active bushmeat and ivory trade, inadequate management, and increasing pressure due to population growth. In addition, the forests of the Congo Basin are vulnerable to more ultimate threats related to regional poverty, weak governance, and civil unrest.

Initiated by the founders of the U.S. Congressional ICC and the U.S. State Department, the CBFP was formally launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in September 2002. It is now an informal association that brings together more than 50 of the major governmental, nongovernmental, and international organizations active in the region which support the countries of the Congo Basin with financial and technical assistance in their efforts toward sustainable management of the forests.