Stretching across six countries, the Congo Basin contains the second largest contiguous tropical rain forest in the world and is home to a wealth of biodiversity and wildlife populations. As global demand for the region’s forest resources continues to grow, Central African nations recognize the importance of managing these resources for the future.
WRI has been working with the Republic of Congo’s Ministry of Forest
Economy and a Congolese environmental group since 2004 to help that
country gather and digitize data on all its forest concessions, logging roads,
and protected areas for the first time. Forests cover 22 million hectares,
almost 65% of Congo’s territory. Forestry related revenue is second
only to that of petroleum to Congo’s economy.
Combined with training programs, the interactive forest atlas
produced through this collaboration helps the Congolese
government better monitor and manage its forest concession
titles, adjust taxable areas accordingly, and prioritize its limited resources to combat illegal logging by dispatching field control
units to investigate pre-identified problem areas rather than
stumbling upon them.