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Nanna Heitmann, Protectors of Congo’s Peatland

Active local climate protection with global repercussions: in this series, the German photographer (born 1994) introduces the inhabitants of Lokolama, a village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are determined to defend their vast, and hitherto untouched peatlands against the threat of deforestation and resource extraction. Enormously important to the global climate, the areas represents one of the largest tropical peatlands on the planet – an ecological marvel that stores many billions of tonnes of carbon.

Index Detail  |  Image x 19 Images
Ovide Emba, a scientist and biology student, in the peatlands close to the village of Mpeka
Plants that grow in the peatlands: old botanical collections of Belgian scientists, dating back to colonial times, at the botanical garden of Mbandaka
Freshly caught fish in the village of Mpeka, on the Ruki River. Because of the bordering peatlands, the river is very rich in fish
Josef Bonkile Engobo, the local chief of Lokolama, shows the place where a logger from the neighbouring village cut down trees, illegally
A stick marking the peatlands, close to the village of Mpeka
A monkey on a boat that moored in Mbandaka
Floating down the Congo River, in the direction of Kinshasa
View over Équateur forest, close to Mbandaka, seen from the plane to Kinshasa
Children play under an avocado tree in Lokolama
Therese Bokinga, with her husband, lives in Lokolama; she looks after Ovide Emba, the researcher, when he visits
A village, close to the peatlands, on the way to Mpeka
Old collections of local fish, set up by Belgian scientists at the botanical garden of Mbandaka. A leftover from colonial times
Timber is tied together to make rafts to float downriver to Kinshasa. Léonard Baly’s raft got stuck on the sand till the water level rose
Jungle animals such as porcupines, monkeys, crocodiles and turtles are sold at the market in Mbandaka
Guy, a logger, in the house where he usually lives, when he comes to the neighbouring town of Lokolama for contract work
Tantine, Therèse, Marie-Jeanne and Bebeta returning from collecting mushrooms
Massive timber on a boat belonging to the Lebanese company Congo Futur
Ovide Emba, a scientist and biology student, at his home in Mbandaka
Ovide Emba, a scientist and biology student, in the peatlands bordering Ruki River, close to the village Mpeka