On the eve of the crucial climate summit in Glasgow, more than 100,000 Congolese and international citizens have signed a petition organised by Rainforest Rescue, Greenpeace Africa and the Rainforest Foundation UK calling on the DRC government and its international partners to maintain the national moratorium on new logging concessions.
RFUK and our local and international partners have expressed deep alarm ever since the DRC Environment Minister Eve Bazaiba announced a plan to lift the near 20-year ban on July 9th. Any expansion of logging risks entrenching endemic corruption in an industry that has brought few benefits to rural Congolese or the national economy, and is at odds with the DRC government’s recent pledge to clean up the sector.
In separate development, a grouping of 27 Congolese and international scientists have written to CAFI, the grouping of international donors, warning of the environmental and climatic impacts of the plan. At a time when the DRC is heavily promoting the role of its vast forests in international climate talks, this move could trigger a cascade of deforestation in one of the world’s great rainforests and possibly the only one still acting as a carbon sync.
This follows a leaked draft of a purported $1billion forest protection agreement between CAFI and the DRC government that appears to have dropped opposition to a lifting of the moratorium. At the same time, the document foresees barely any increase in community management of forests, which is now increasingly recognised as being the most fair and effective way of protecting them.
Click here to add your name to the petition.