Protect Forest Elephants and Lowland Gorillas of Africa’s Biodiversity Hotspot

Project Cost: $1,073,036

Funding Raised: $209,395

Nearly one acre of forest is lost every second


Every $1 you donate today to support biodiversity in the Democratic Republic of Congo will be matched with $1 through our SAVES Challenge. Your gift will have DOUBLE the impact!

Stop rainforest destruction, save species and store carbon

Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is covered with dense tropical rainforest home to Critically Endangered species like Grauer’s Gorillas, Chimpanzees and newly recognized African Forest Elephants.

Years of civil unrest and violence in the region have inflicted untold destruction on the natural range of countless species. A thriving illegal economy of mining and poaching is fragmenting habitat and decimating species populations. Rainforest Trust and our local partner, Strong Roots, urgently need your help to stop deforestation and protect 769,543 acres of healthy rainforest.

The proposed site will encompass a beautiful mosaic of forest types–including high altitude, dense tropical rainforests and old-growth forests. This “carbon vault” is a top priority for the Rainforest Climate Action Fund because it will store vast amounts of carbon in their wood and roots, locking up much of that carbon in perpetuity. Once protected, a total of 195,501,690 metric tons of CO2 equivalents–commensurate to the annual energy emissions of every home in California and Texas combined–will be stored safely in the Earth.
Header Photo: Young Grauer’s Gorilla, by LMIMAGES.

Democratic Republic of Congo



Eastern Gorilla (CR), Hooded Vulture (CR), African Forest Elephant (CR), Chimpanzee (EN), Itombwe Massif Clawed Frog (EN), Prigogine’s Nightjar (EN)

(CR)=Critically Endangered, (EN)=Endangered


Strong Roots

195,501,691 mT*
*(metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents)


Join our commitment to the region

Conservation in Eastern DRC has been a top priority for Rainforest Trust. For nearly a decade we have worked in this landscape to safeguard critical habitat for highly threatened species like the Grauer’s Gorilla and African Forest Elephant. Our long-term commitment to these vulnerable forests has resulted in protecting over five million acres, and this project is another important step to bolster conservation in the region.

Our work will also protect several threatened bird species, including Hooded Vultures (CR), Grey Parrots (EN), Congo Bay-owls (EN), Steppe Eagles (EN) and Shelley’s Crimsonwing (EN) – one of the rarest finches in the world.

Make a difference for local communities

Despite being one of the most resource-rich countries in the world, DRC is one of the least developed; nearly 80% of the population lives below the poverty line. Displacement as a result of poverty or violence has resulted in an unsustainable dependence upon natural resources for survival.

The long-term success of this project is underpinned by community engagement. Through the designation of community forest concessions, Strong Roots will work with the local people to create conservation plans, formulate successful sustainable livelihoods and promote local natural resource governance. This will provide local communities and indigenous peoples with sustainable forest management skills. Above Photo: Endangered African Forest Elephant, by Ondrej Prosicky; Below Photo: Landscape, courtesy of Strong Roots.



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