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The Congo Basin
Congo Basin
is the sedimentary basin of the Congo River. The Congo Basin is located in Central Africa, in a region known as west equatorial Africa. The Congo Basin
Congo Basin
region is sometimes known simply as the Congo. The basin begins in the highlands of the East African Rift
East African Rift
system with input from the Chambeshi River, the Uele and Ubangi Rivers in the upper reaches and the Lualaba River draining wetlands in the middle reaches. Due to the young age and active uplift of the East African Rift
Rift
at the headlands, the river's yearly sediment load is very large but the drainage basin occupies large areas of low relief throughout much of its area.[1] The basin is a total of 3.7 million square kilometers and is home to some of the largest undisturbed stands of tropical rainforest on the planet, in addition to large wetlands. The basin ends where the river empties its load in the Gulf of Guinea
Gulf of Guinea
on the Atlantic Ocean. The climate is equatorial tropical, with two rainy seasons including very high rainfalls, and high temperature year round. The basin is home to the endangered western lowland gorilla. The basin was the watershed of the Congo River
Congo River
populated by pygmy peoples, and eventually Bantu peoples
Bantu peoples
migrated there and founded the Kingdom of Kongo. Belgium, France, and Portugal later established colonial control over the entire region by the late 19th century. The General Act of the Berlin Conference
General Act of the Berlin Conference
of 1885 gave a precise definition to the "conventional basin" of the Congo, which included the entire actual basin plus some other areas. The General Act bound its signatories to neutrality within the conventional basin, but this was not respected during the First World War.

Contents

1 Congo region 2 Environmental importance 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

Congo region[edit] Congo is a traditional name for the equatorial Middle Africa
Africa
that lies between the Gulf of Guinea
Gulf of Guinea
and the African Great Lakes. It contains some of the largest tropical rainforests in the world.

Course and drainage basin of the Congo River
Congo River
with countries marked

Countries wholly or partially in the Congo region:

Angola Burundi Cameroon Central African Republic Democratic Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo Rwanda South Sudan Tanzania Zambia

Environmental importance[edit] The Congo forest is an important biodiversity hotspot. It is home to okapi, bonobo and the Congo peafowl, but is also an important source of African teak, used for building furniture and flooring. An estimated 40 million people depend on these woodlands, surviving on traditional livelihoods. At a global level, Congo's forests act as the planet's second lung, counterpart to the rapidly dwindling Amazon. They are a huge "carbon sink," trapping carbon that could otherwise become carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming. The Congo Basin holds roughly 8 percent of the world's forest-based carbon. These forests also affect rainfall across the North Atlantic. In other words, these distant forests are crucial to the future of climate stability, a bulwark against runaway climate change. A moratorium on logging in the Congo forest was agreed with the World Bank and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
(RDC, République Démocratique du Congo) in May 2002. The World Bank
World Bank
agreed to provide $90 million of development aid to RDC with the proviso that the government did not issue any new concessions granting logging companies rights to exploit the forest. The deal also prohibited the renewal of existing concessions.[2] Greenpeace
Greenpeace
is calling on the World Bank
World Bank
to "think outside the box" and use the forest's potential in the battle against climate change. If these woodlands are deforested, the carbon they trap will be released into the atmosphere. It says that 8% of the Earth's forest-based carbon is stored in the RDC's forests. Predictions for future unabated deforestation estimate that by 2050 activities in the DRC will release roughly the same amount of carbon dioxide as the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
has emitted over the last 60 years. The government has written a new forestry code that requires companies to invest in local development and follow a sustainable, twenty-five-year cycle of rotational logging. When a company is granted a concession from central government to log in Congo, it must sign an agreement with the local chiefs and hereditary land owners, who give permission for it to extract the trees in return for development packages. In theory, the companies must pay government nearly $18m rent a year for these concessions, of which 40% in taxes paid should be returned to provincial governments for investment in social development of the local population in the logged areas. In its current form, the Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
does not reward so-called "avoided deforestation" - initiatives that protect forest from being cut down. But many climate scientists and policymakers hope that negotiations for Kyoto's successor will include such measures. If this were the case, there could be a financial incentive for protecting forests. L’Île Mbiye in Kisangani is part of the Sustainable Forest Management in Africa
Africa
Symposium project of forest ecosystem conservation conducted by Stellenbosch University. RDC is also looking to expand the area of forest under protection, for which it hopes to secure compensation through emerging markets for forest carbon. The main Congolese environmental organization working to save the forests is an NGO
NGO
called OCEAN, which serves as the link between international outfits like Greenpeace
Greenpeace
and local community groups in the concessions. See also[edit]

Africa
Africa
portal Geography portal

Congo Basin
Congo Basin
Forest Partnership

Congo Basin
Congo Basin
was founded in 265BC References[edit]

^ Mineral deposits & Earth evolution. Geological Society. 2005. ISBN 978-1-86239-182-6.  ^ "The Fight to Save Congo's Forests". thenation.com. October 22, 2007. 

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Congo Basin.

External links[edit]

Pygmies.org: African Pygmies website — first inhabitants of the Congo Basin
Congo Basin
rainforests.

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Major African geological formations

Plates

African Plate Somali Plate Madagascar
Madagascar
Plate Seychelles Plate

Cratons and shields

Arabian-Nubian Shield Congo Craton Kaapvaal Craton Kalahari Craton Saharan Metacraton Tanzania
Tanzania
Craton Tuareg Shield West African Craton Zimbabwe Craton

Shear zones

Aswa Dislocation Broodkop Shear Zone Central African Shear Zone Chuan Shear Zones Foumban Shear Zone Kandi Fault Zone Mwembeshi Shear Zone Todi Shear Zone Western Meseta Shear Zone

Orogens

Alpide Orogen Cape Fold Belt Damara Orogen East African Orogen Eburnean Orogen Gondwanide Orogen Kibaran Orogen Kuunga Orogen Mauritanide Belt Pan-African orogens Terra Australis Orogen

Rifts

Afar Triangle Anza trough Bahr el Arab rift Benue Trough Blue Nile rift East African Rift Gulf of Suez Rift Lamu Embayment Melut Basin Muglad Basin Red Sea Rift Sangha Aulacogen Atbara rift White Nile rift

Sedimentary basins

Angola
Angola
Basin Aoukar Blue Nile Basin Chad Basin Congo Basin Douala Basin El Djouf Foreland Karoo Basin Gabon Basin Iullemmeden Basin Kufra Basin Murzuq Basin Niger Delta
Niger Delta
Basin Ogaden Basin Orange River basin Ouled Abdoun Basin Owambo Basin Reggane Basin Rio del Rey Basin Sirte Basin Somali Coastal Basin Taoudeni basin Tanzania
Tanzania
Coastal Basin Tindouf Basin Turkana Basin

Mountain ranges

Aïr Mountains Atlas Mountains Aurès Mountains Bambouk Mountains Blue Mountains Cameroon
Cameroon
line Central Pangean Mountains Chaillu Mountains Drakensberg Ethiopian Highlands East African mountains Great Escarpment Great Karas Mountains Guinée forestière Imatong Mountains Jebel Uweinat Loma Mountains Mandara Mountains Marrah Mountains Mitumba Mountains Nuba Mountains Rif
Rif
Mountains Rwenzori Mountains Sankwala Mountains Serra da Leba Serra da Chela Teffedest Mountains Tibesti Mountains

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Regions of Africa

Central Africa

Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Cape Lopez Mayombe Igboland

Mbaise

Maputaland Pool Malebo Congo Basin Chad Basin Congolese rainforests Ouaddaï highlands Ennedi Plateau

East Africa

African Great Lakes

Albertine Rift East African Rift Great Rift
Rift
Valley Gregory Rift Rift
Rift
Valley lakes Swahili coast Virunga Mountains Zanj

Horn of Africa

Afar Triangle Al-Habash Barbara Danakil Alps Danakil Desert Ethiopian Highlands Gulf of Aden Gulf of Tadjoura

Indian Ocean islands

Comoros Islands

North Africa

Maghreb

Barbary Coast Bashmur Ancient Libya Atlas Mountains

Nile Valley

Cataracts of the Nile Darfur Gulf of Aqaba Lower Egypt Lower Nubia Middle Egypt Nile Delta Nuba Mountains Nubia The Sudans Upper Egypt

Western Sahara

West Africa

Pepper Coast Gold Coast Slave Coast Ivory Coast Cape Palmas Cape Mesurado Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Niger Basin Guinean Forests of West Africa Niger Delta Inner Niger Delta

Southern Africa

Madagascar

Central Highlands (Madagascar) Northern Highlands

Rhodesia

North South

Thembuland Succulent Karoo Nama Karoo Bushveld Highveld Fynbos Cape Floristic Region Kalahari Desert Okavango Delta False Bay Hydra Bay

Macro-regions

Aethiopia Arab world Commonwealth realm East African montane forests Eastern Desert Equatorial Africa Françafrique Gibraltar Arc Greater Middle East Islands of Africa List of countries where Arabic is an official language Mediterranean Basin MENA MENASA Middle East Mittelafrika Negroland Northeast Africa Portuguese-speaking African countries Sahara Sahel Sub-Saharan Africa Sudan (region) Sudanian Savanna Tibesti Mountains Tropical Africa

Coordinates: 0°00′00″N 22°00′00″E / 0.0000°N 22.0000°E

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