The forests of the Congo Basin play a crucial role in regulating the climate system of not just Africa, but the entire world. These forests also provide a livelihood for the 60 million people who live in them or nearby; perform essential social and cultural functions for local and indigenous populations; and, more indirectly, help feed the 40 million people living in nearby urban centres, as pointed out by Marquant et al. (2015). When these forests are managed sustainably, they have the potential to provide “sustainable nature-based solutions” to many issues related to water, energy, food and nutritional security, poverty alleviation and others. In this way, they contribute to achieving several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nonetheless, the question of how to harness this huge potential remains.