Oscar-winning French actress and star of Inception, Marion Cotillard, has long been a supporter of the environment – and of Greenpeace. Last month, she travelled with the charity to the heart of the Congo rainforests to bear witness to the plundering of this ancient forest.
Now you can follow Marion’s journey in a series of video travelogues – a powerful testimony to the Congo’s forests, and to the struggle to prevent their destruction.
International logging companies are plundering the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and causing social chaos for many of the 40 million-odd people who depend on the rainforests for their livelihoods but whose voices are ignored.
While the logging companies trade (often illegally logged) timber, avoid taxes, bribe officials and cheat local people out of invaluable forest resources in exchange for a few bags of salt, the forests themselves – and the many endangered species that live in them – are in jeopardy.
In June, French actress Marion Cotillard took an amazing journey through these threatened rainforests and met the protagonists of this unhappy story. Travelling by pirogue (a small wooden boat), she witnessed the destruction caused by logging first hand.
“I’ve seen how large-scale timber operations are threatening [some of] the planet’s last intact forests,” said Marion. "They’re being eaten away from the inside. This extraordinary ecosystem that supports the lives of tens of millions of people and is the planet’s second largest green lung is in danger.
“At each meeting, during each discussion with the people living there, I could see the looting that’s unfolding in these remote lands: the industrial loggers arrive, hand out a few ‘crumbs’ and then cut down the most valuable wood. This wood is often exported to the European market where it’s sold at exorbitant prices – while in the Congolese forests, workers risk their lives and are often paid less than a dollar a day.”
Greenpeace filmed Marion’s journey and, over the next few weeks, you will be able to travel with her through some of the planet’s last intact forests. Four episodes of the film are already available – with three more episodes to be released over the coming weeks. They will be available exclusively online – follow Greenpeace on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube to be alerted of the next episode’s release. Especially stay tuned for the next episode of Marion’s travelogue – where she first hears about the social conflict caused by industrial logging companies like Sodefor.
Click here to find out more.
Source: Greenpeace International