Ituri Forest Pygmies | Who Rules the Forest? National Geographic Magazine: Pygmies Are Hired to Cut Down Their Own Forest | Ituri Region | DR Congo

Pygmies Are Hired to Cut Down Their Own Forest | Ituri Region | DR Congo

Pygmy Logging Crew

A logging company hires Pygmies to cut down their own forest. They are one of the few registered logging concessions around the Ituri.  The government is so frail, why bother to register a concession?  There will be massive logging around the Pygmies in the next few years.

From the National Geographic story by Paul Salopek:

What will happen to poor Congo?

Africa is the most unpredictable continent in the world. Yet no African nation confronts a future so unscripted, so fraught with disaster and sheer possibility, as the misnamed Democratic Republic Congo. Will war resume, and Congo shatter into smaller, squabbling states? Possibly. Can the frail but hopeful peace last, allowing Congo finally to put her fabulous riches to work? Conceivably. Everything is so unclear, so unfathomable. An historic election – the first truly democratic ballot since independence from Belgium in 1960 – is scheduled for June 2005. But UN experts warn that some 100,000 rebels, bandits, militiamen, and assorted other killers have yet to disarm. And the ethnic and political rumbling along the eastern Rift won’t likely stop with a mere presidential poll.

And so, with astonishing patience and good humor, almost 60 million people in the core of Africa hold their breath. Maximum extremes of violence, destitution, and disease have made them outcasts from the world. Waking up every morning, they take a deep breath, and peek warily from their windows, from their lean-tos, their thatched huts, afraid of what they’ll see. Will it be the usual mud patio with its bedraggled chickens? Or a canyon that has gaped open overnight – an abyss plummeting beyond sight, to the very core of the Earth, into which they will shortly tumble?

Buy This Image