Yaoundé Declaration: conserving the forests of the Green Heart of Africa

Yaoundé Declaration

The darkest jungles of Africa that are so steeped in myth, legend and tales, are also one of the most important scientific reservoirs of life known to man. In terms of their importance and value to the world, to man himself, the jungles of the Congo Basin should never be underestimated.
Many of the inhabitants of these forests remain threatened and even undiscovered, and apart from the magnificence of their presence, these forests could hold the key to future medical advances in the treatment of human ailments.

Presidents' Protection
In March 1999, for the first time ever in the history of the African continent, presidents and leaders from the region - people with vision and awareness of value in the diversity of life - came together to plan the protection of the incalculable natural riches of the Congo Basin forests.

These same people gathered again in 2005 on the 4th & 5th February to build on the successful and groundbreaking moves made during that first summit in 1999 which many have come to refer to as the Yaoundé Forest Summit.

This time round they are met in Brazzaville to celebrate achievements made since the Yaoundé Summit and to take further action towards the conservation of one of our planet's most precious and irreplaceable emerald jewels.

The Congo Basin is the 2nd largest area of tropical forest in the world after the Amazon - and is home to countless plant and animal species such as the gorilla, leopard, chimpanzee, and forest elephant.

A great deal of action is needed to conserve these species from going extinct and to protect their habits. Yet the task of conservation is made more difficult because of growing human populations, illegal logging and the clearance of land for agriculture.

But people are making a difference - from local communities to presidents and world leaders. And it is happening now, in the Congo Basin, following the path set by the Yaoundé Forest Summit in 1999.

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