Glossary

Congo River Basin

The Congo River Basin covers the area (forested and non-forested) drained by the Congo River. It is the second largest drainage system in the world, covering approximately 3.8 million km2.

The Congo River Basin extends far to the south and east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into land that is covered with woodland and savanna and includes a part of Angola.

Small parts of Zambia lie in the southeast part of the basin, connected notably through the Lake Mweru Basin.
 / ©: Revenga C., Nackoney J., Hoshino E., Kura, Y., Maidens, J. 2003.  Watersheds of the world. IUCN, International Water Management Institute, Ramsar Convention Bureau, WRI. Washington, DC : WRI.
Map of the Congo River Basin
© Revenga C., Nackoney J., Hoshino E., Kura, Y., Maidens, J. 2003. Watersheds of the world. IUCN, International Water Management Institute, Ramsar Convention Bureau, WRI. Washington, DC : WRI.

Congo Basin forests

The Congo Basin forests include the large tract of forests drained by the Congo River Basin, and stretch beyond those limits as well. Within the Congo River Basin itself, forests cover some 1.5 million km2, spanning eastern Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Stricly speaking, countries such as Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe should not be included in this definition, since they are not drained by the Congo River system. However, because a large part of the forests in the region are located in the Basin, they are generally referred to as "Congo Basin forests" or the Green Heart of Africa.
 / ©: Congo Basin Forest Partnership
Congo River Basin forests, stretching all the way to the Atlantic Ocean [click to expand map]
© Congo Basin Forest Partnership

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