Congo’s Rainforest: ready to be managed for REDD

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has entrusted a Canadian company with managing a vast section of its forest, including containing deforestation, the environment ministry has announced.  Ecosystem Restoration Associates (ERA) will handle a project covering nearly 300,000 hectares (740,000 acres) of woodlands in the Mai-Ndombe forest, in western Bandundu province, the statement said.  The project is part of the country’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation (REDD+) programme.  “For us, it’s about containing deforestation, restoring the forests and making this country a green country in the interest of the international community,” Congo’s Environment Minister Jose Endundo told AFP.  It was also about ensuring the country’s credibility in the fight against climate change, he said.

John Kendall, ERA’s Africa representative, told AFP Mai-Ndombe had been a strategic choice to demonstrate what Africa could do in the fight against climate change.  They would be working with local communities to teach them sustainable farming, such as how to grow their crops without being obliged to burn down woodlands, he added.  The Democratic Republic of Congo has 75 percent of the Congo basin’s forested land and 50 percent of Africa’s.  The REDD+ programme was adopted during the UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico at the end of 2010.  It offered financial incentives to encourage countries with large tropical forests to manage them in a sustainable way.

DR Congo entrusts forest management to Canada’s ERA, Agence France Presse, Aug. 23, 2011

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