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