The Congo Basin is the largest producer of timber in Africa. The basin covers an area of over 4 million square kilometers and spans six countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Angola.
The Congo Basin is home to the worldâ€™s second-largest tropical forest after the Amazon. It is a critical global storehouse of biodiversity with an estimated 10,000 species of plants and animals â€“ including many that are found nowhere else on Earth. The basin also provides vital ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and water regulation.
Timber production in the Congo Basin has increased significantly in recent years due to growing demand from Asia (particularly China) and Europe. However, this increase has come at a cost to the regionâ€™s forests as illegal logging remains rampant. It is estimated that up to 90% of all logging in the Congo Basin is illegal or unregulated. This illicit trade fuels corruption and conflict while contributing to deforestation and climate change.