In Central Africa, artisanal timber exploitation is at least as important in terms of volume, employment and turnover as the exploitation of forests by industrial firms for export. These sectors are now well organised, but they remain almost entirely informal, which hinders their development and reduces their contribution to the national economies.
Tropical forests play a crucial role in balancing the climate and maintaining life-supporting ecosystems. They help regulate the water cycle and water quality, form the soil, harbour rich floral and faunal biodiversity and provide many other socio-cultural services. However, forests, water and biodiversity are now seriously threatened by human activities such as agriculture, timber exploitation, mining, hunting, fishing, carbonisation of wood energy, urbanisation and population growth.
The DRC is one of a group of 17 "mega-diverse" countries and its forests and natural and water resources are of global importance. Forests and their water resources provide many important environmental services to humanity, including regulation of climate, oxygen and temperature, rainfall, biodiversity, etc.
The environment has become a crucial issue for the survival of the planet and humanity. This is due to more or less legal/legal human activities (poaching, illegal exploitation of natural resources, slash-and-burn agriculture, carbonisation, urbanisation, infrastructure, etc.), which have considerably increased the threats to the environment through emissions of gases that cause climate change and global warming. Therefore, in view of the ecological emergency, we must act now, quickly and effectively.
The ‘Forests for a Just Future’ programme of the Green Livelihoods Alliance (GLA) will contribute to the protection of tropical forests and the people who directly depend on those forests. With partner organisations in Africa, South East Asia and South America the GLA works to govern tropical forests in a sustainable and inclusive way.