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Story Publication logo January 23, 2023

Congo-Brazzaville: Illegal Hunting With Impunity in the Mayombe Forest (French)

An aerial shot of a tropical mountain range in the Congo Basin.

The risks of disappearance incurred by the Mayombe forest massif due to uncontrolled...


This story excerpt was translated from French. To read the original story in full, visit Farm Radio FM. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.

Image by Farm Radio FM. Congo (Brazzaville), 2022.

News in brief

We are located near the village of Les Saras in the heart of the lush forest of Mayombe, where the production of game meat is running at full speed since the opening of the RN1 in 2011. Every day, more than 200 animals are offered for sale. In Congo-Brazzaville, hunting is regulated by a set of laws, including one that sets out the legal hunting periods in the country. However, there are many hunters who exceed these laws. Hunters report that deputies, ministers, senators, generals, and even water and forestry officials buy game on this market, even warning them of upcoming police raids in exchange for a reduced price. However, alternatives to hunting and eating illegal meat are being developed in the village of Louaka in Kakamoeka District, thanks to a biodiversity protection association called Endangered Species International Congo. These solutions include plantain production and ecotourism.

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Mammals, reptiles, birds… In the Mayombe forest, game production has been running at full speed since the RN1 road was opened in 2011. But the game is hunted illegally despite the efforts of wildlife protection institutions.

We are in the vicinity of the village of Les Saras, in the heart of the lush Mayombe forest in the Kouilou region, some 90 kilometers east of Pointe Noire, the economic capital of Congo-Brazzaville.

Although Les Saras is famous for its banana production, the region is now known as the "great meat market. Since the RN1 opened in 2011, the area has attracted hunters, traders and restaurateurs, all of whom are part of the game meat value chain.

Ange is one of the region's leading meat traders. "I used to be a mechanic. But the business wasn't making much money. That's why I moved here."