Saving the Congo Forests

CCTV News, Faces of Africa, March 2014

[29 min 25 s]

Role: Producer // Director // 2nd Camera

Camera: Edwin Thiongo // Editing: Erik Kinyeki

The Democratic Republic of Congo is home to millions of hectares of dense rainforest and a huge reserve of natural resources. It has suffered from ongoing cycles of war, fueled by a scramble for its mineral resources, which dates back to the colonial era. These events have had a devastating impact on the country’s rainforests. Saving the Congo Forests profiles the work of a group of Congolese environmentalists, led by René Ngongo, a biologist who has spent 17 years campaigning for the forests. From Goma and Bukavu in the East of the country, to Kisangani, and then Westward, the film follows rangers who work with local communities, park wardens who are preventing illegal trafficking in gorillas and wildlife, and René himself as he engages in the difficult work of publicizing the Congolese situation internationally. Now, as oil companies start to explore in the Virunga, Africa’s oldest national park, Rene and his colleagues must work even harder to protect the country’s last standing forests.