Where we work
Tropenbos DR Congo works on conservation, forest and natural resource governance and sustainable management while improving the living conditions of the inhabitants of the landscape.It operates in the Provinces of Tshopo and Mongala and Ituri. It plans to expand its activities in other forest areas.
The Bafwasende Landscape in Tshopo Province is the largest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It has a forest cover of about 98%. With its immense forest cover, it contributes significantly to global carbon sinks and to the stabilisation of regional rainfall regimes. It is also one of the poorest regions of the country and the population is highly dependent on natural resources for its livelihood. Forests are under threat due to the construction of basic infrastructure and migration to the territory, mainly by the Yira people of North Kivu. Partly due to migration, more and more areas of Bafwasende are being cleared and the average size of agricultural fields has increased, with cocoa as one of the main crops. Although the expansion of agriculture contributes to the well-being of the local population, it is also a factor in deforestation. Another important factor in deforestation is logging. The demand for wood is high, due to post-conflict reconstruction activities and the growing regional and international markets.
Ongoing deforestation in the Bafwasende Landscape has a negative impact on climate change mitigation. In addition, as the population of Bafwasende is poor and highly dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods, they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
There is an urgent need to make the landscape of Bafwasende climate-smart. This means conserving the forests, while at the same time enabling people to develop their livelihoods based on sustainable natural resource management, as well as agro-pastoral and mining activities.
What we are doing :
Establish models of mixed cocoa/banana agroforestry as a source of income ;
Establish an international payment for environmental services (PES) model to conserve 95% of standing forests and stimulate local socio-economic development ;
Operationalize models of community forestry and artisanal forestry units for sustainable forest management and enterprise development; and
Build the capacity of women, youth and Mbuti to participate effectively in governance at the local level.
Tropenbos DRC works with the gouvernment of RDC, forest administrations, Universities, artisanal loggers, civil society organisations from the forest sector, governance and other local partners.