Commercial logging, palm oil plantations, mineral mining, charcoal fuel harvesting, oil extraction, and road building are just some of the threats to the Congo Basin, the world's second largest tropical rainforest. Researchers say there will be no primary rainforest left by 2100 if trends continue.
One solution garnering widespread praise from regional experts is community forest concessions – giving local communities the right to own and manage forest. The law passed in the Democratic Republic of Congo is being championed because it provides employment alternatives to industrial logging and mining, while reducing poverty and malnutrition.
Already up to 1.5 million hectares of forest have been granted, and there is hope that the scheme could help halt deforestation.