Interactive Map: new data – Indigenous peoples in the Congo Basin

See this information on the interactive map

Although no reliable census exists, it is estimated that there are between 500-700,000 indigenous people in the Congo Basin who are divided into more than 26 distinct ethnic groups with differing customs and languages. Collectively referred to as “Pygmies”, such groups are to varying degrees characterised by a high level of forest dependency and may cover significant areas in order to maintain their livelihoods. Unfortunately, national laws in the region currently offer little protection of the rights of indigenous peoples who, as a result, have seen much of their traditional territories allocated as logging concessions, strictly protected areas and other land uses.

This new “indicative” layer shows in which administrative areas of the Congo Basin indigenous peoples are known to be found. It is not intended as a comprehensive census of such groups and the extent of their forest use but is a useful illustration of their widespread presence in the forest. It can therefore aid regional governments and donor agencies to design and implement appropriate policies and programmes which take into account this presence in accordance to international treaties such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which all Congo Basin states voted in favour of during its adoption in the UN General Assembly in 2007.

Data sources: The data comes from different sources including national indigenous peoples development plans (IPDPs), the Dynamnique des Groupes des Peuples Autochtones (DGPA) Indigenous Peoples Atlas for DRC and field research undertaken by the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK).