The Republic of Congo is found in the western part of Central Africa.
34.2 million hectares
Area of forest cover:
Around 21 million hectares
What are the main threats to /issues relating to forest communities and lands in this country?
- The rights of forest communities in Congo to the lands they have inhabited for centuries or to the forest resources they depend on are not effectively recognised. The Indigenous Peoples Law of 2011 mentions their property right over their traditional territories, however very little has been done to actually enforce it.
- Currently, the Congolese Forest Code is undergoing a revision process. Forest communities haven’t been adequately involved in this process and it seems that the new code will not include any provisions recognising these communities’ land rights.
- The Congo’s forests are invaded by a variety of land concessions which often overlap, particularly logging concessions, agro-industrial plantations and strictly protected areas. Communities are often displaced from their land to make way for these activities that don’t bring them any tangible benefits.
- 74% of the country’s forest area is allocated to logging concessions, which is a major driver of forest degradation.
- Agro-industrial and particularly palm oil expansion is another major threat to the Congolese rainforest. The single largest land concession for industrial palm oil production in the Congo Basin – the Atama plantation – is there, and the Congolese government has explicitly stated its intention to turn Congo into one of the main producers of palm oil in the continent.
What are the main objectives of our work in this country?
To produce evidence based recommendations to tackle the drivers of deforestation and uphold community rights in a context of expansion of extractive industries and restrictive conservation policies. Also, to advocate for the effective implementation of the indigenous peoples’ law, approved in 2011, but which has not resulted in tangible change.
How many communities are we working with in this country?