Sale of oil and gas permits casts shadow over world’s second-largest rainforest – Rights History
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Animals

Sale of oil and gas permits casts shadow over world’s second-largest rainforest

Villagers in the Congo basin rely on the forest for food, medicine and spiritual wellbeing, but an auction of exploration rights could threaten that way of life

“The forest will never end,” says Papa Mbembe as he treks through the swampy peatland of the rainforest behind his village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), nearly 400 miles from the capital, Kinshasa.

Walking barefoot, and dressed in a T-shirt and rolled-up jeans, he points to the ferns, lianas and hardwood trees rising high into the canopy. He hunts small woodland antelope, collects timber for his house and is an expert in traditional medicine.

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