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Western lowland gorillas, the most plentiful of the four gorilla species, are now critically endangered in the wild. The forests which gorillas, and people, depend on in Africa are slowly being cut down for timber, and to make way for agricultural, and in some cases industrial, development.

As more tropical forests are replaced by palm oil and timber plantations, gorillas are pushed closer to the edge of extinction and the livelihood and cultures of millions of local people are at risk.

Why are forests being cleared for palm oil and timber?

Palm oil is the world’s most widely produced vegetable oil. It can be found in more than 50% of the foods we eat as well as our soaps, lotions, shampoos, cleaning products, and cosmetics.

Global demand for palm oil is expected to top 70 million metric tons by 2020, while an expansion of industrial logging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo threatens to decimate the second largest tropical rainforest in the world.

Gorillas Top Center Photo: Community members in Cross River State, Nigeria protest the sale of their land to Wilmar International, April, 2015.
Photo Credit: Environmental Rights Action/FoE Nigeria
Bottom Right Photo: Land clearing for palm oil, Kalangala, Uganda, 2012.
Photo Credit: Jason Taylor/FoE International