The Congo ­Basin contains the world’s second-largest ­tropical ­rainforest. Around 90% remains, but logging and ­mining now threaten this species-rich area. The survival of the Mbuti pygmies, who live in the Ituri region of north-eastern Congo, ­observe gender equality and have no ruling group, is seriously threatened by deforestation and local conflict: in 2003, a Mbuti representative testified to the UN that his people had been hunted and eaten by soldiers fighting in the civil war. 

Photograph: Randy Olson/National Geographic/Abrams & Chronicle


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