Democratic Republic of the Congo
DRC is one of the world’s largest rainforest nations with around 150 million hectares of forest, equivalent to almost 70% of the country’s land area and representing 7% of the world’s total tropical forest area. DRC has a relatively low recent historical deforestation rate compared with countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America, but the rate is increasing rapidly and is the highest among the countries of the Congo Basin. For the period 2010-15, the annual deforestation rate was 0.2%.
Drivers of deforestation and degradation
The main drivers of deforestation and forest degradation are:
- Slash-and-burn agriculture
- Illegal logging, in particular artisanal logging
- Wood energy
- Forest fires
REDD+ actors and activities
The country has engaged since January 2009 in the REDD+ process, and has received multilateral support from the UN REDD program, the FCPF and various bilateral donors.
The national REDD+ process has passed several milestones. The Democratic Republic of the Congo adopted its National REDD+ Framework Strategy in 2012 as well as a National REDD+ Investment Plan 2015-2020, adopted in 2015. It completed its REDD+ readiness process in 2015 and has now entered into investment phase.
Various multilateral investment programs are currently being implemented in the DRC, including the Forest Investment Program and the Mai Ndombe jurisdictional REDD+ program, which aims at achieving the reduction of 29 million tCO2 through result-based payments.
DRC has also signed a letter of Intent with the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) for the financing of up to USD 200 million of its REDD+ Investment Plan, based on the achievement of policy milestones aimed at addressing DRC’s main direct and indirect drivers of deforestation. The National REDD+ Fund is the main body coordinating the programming and implementation of the various investment programs to be financed by CAFI.
Status of FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA)
In 2010, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the EU began negotiations towards a VPA to improve forest governance and ensure that only legal timber and timber products reach the EU market.
For more information, see the Democratic Republic of the Congo page on the EU FLEGT Facility's website.