DRC: Illegal charcoal trade fuels deforestation

| July 4, 2016

Download this story

Huge swathes of forest in Congo’s Virunga National Park are being destroyed for valuable charcoal—an illegal trade that’s worth an estimated $35 million a year, according to rights group, the Enough Project.

The group says the illegal trade is linked to crimes such as murder, forced labour, and sex slavery. It also charges that charcoal traffickers are helping to finance a Congolese rebel group.

Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the home of endangered mountain gorillas. Deforesting the park to produce charcoal is affecting the park’s biodiversity.

The Enough Project says that efforts to stop the illegal charcoal trade must include promoting an alternative fuel source, given that millions of people depend on charcoal.

To read the full story, go to: http://news.trust.org/item/20160620170913-hcpl6/?source=hpOtherNews3

Photo credit: UNEP