‘There’s magic, there’s mythology, there’s power to these rivers’: Inside the expeditions documenting the Congo Basin

by | Jul 5, 2024 | Science

Editor’s Note: Call to Earth is a CNN editorial series committed to reporting on the environmental challenges facing our planet, together with the solutions. Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Initiative has partnered with CNN to drive awareness and education around key sustainability issues and to inspire positive action.The Congo Basin in central Africa is one of the largest wilderness areas left on Earth, spanning 3.4 million square kilometers (1.3 million square miles). It’s home to over 10,000 species of tropical plants and more than 2,000 species of animals – many of which are unique to the region.As Africa’s largest river basin, it crosses the borders of multiple countries and is one of the world’s biggest carbon sinks, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and locking it away.Despite its significance, a large portion of it remains undocumented to science. As temperatures continue to rise globally and weather patterns change, understanding the basin and its ecosystems is crucial for scientists and local communities to preserve these areas and build resilience against climate change.Steve Boyes, founder and project leader of The Wilderness Project, is gathering scientific information across the length of the Congo River. It is part of the Great Spine of Africa research expeditions, in partnership with the Rolex Perpetual Planet Initiative, which began in the Okavango Delta and will also include researching the Zambezi, Nile, Chad, and Niger river basins.“There’s magic, there’s mythology, there’s power to these rivers,” Boyes told CNN. “It’s the unknown. And that’s every single corner, typically, of these rivers.”Steve Boyes on a Great Spine of Africa expedition. Canoes are filled with research equipment and supplies, often weighing over 350 kilograms. – James KyddBoyes has dedicated his life to exploring the science of Africa’s freshwater systems. His research on B …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnEditor’s Note: Call to Earth is a CNN editorial series committed to reporting on the environmental challenges facing our planet, together with the solutions. Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Initiative has partnered with CNN to drive awareness and education around key sustainability issues and to inspire positive action.The Congo Basin in central Africa is one of the largest wilderness areas left on Earth, spanning 3.4 million square kilometers (1.3 million square miles). It’s home to over 10,000 species of tropical plants and more than 2,000 species of animals – many of which are unique to the region.As Africa’s largest river basin, it crosses the borders of multiple countries and is one of the world’s biggest carbon sinks, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and locking it away.Despite its significance, a large portion of it remains undocumented to science. As temperatures continue to rise globally and weather patterns change, understanding the basin and its ecosystems is crucial for scientists and local communities to preserve these areas and build resilience against climate change.Steve Boyes, founder and project leader of The Wilderness Project, is gathering scientific information across the length of the Congo River. It is part of the Great Spine of Africa research expeditions, in partnership with the Rolex Perpetual Planet Initiative, which began in the Okavango Delta and will also include researching the Zambezi, Nile, Chad, and Niger river basins.“There’s magic, there’s mythology, there’s power to these rivers,” Boyes told CNN. “It’s the unknown. And that’s every single corner, typically, of these rivers.”Steve Boyes on a Great Spine of Africa expedition. Canoes are filled with research equipment and supplies, often weighing over 350 kilograms. – James KyddBoyes has dedicated his life to exploring the science of Africa’s freshwater systems. His research on B …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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