Environmental groups have warned of a climate and biodiversity catastrophe if the Democratic Republic of Congo lifts a moratorium on new industrial logging permits.
Last month, the DR Congo government said it planned to end the ban which was imposed 19 years ago. Campaigners said more than one-million hectares of forest growing on peat swamps could be handed over to loggers.
If disturbed the swamps could release more than 10-billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, worsening global warming, they said. Endangered species including gorillas, forest elephants and okapi would be under threat.