Food production, agricultural expansion and deforestation in Mai-Ndombe, DRC
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) contains the second largest tropical forest in the world, which is known for its exceptional mega-biodiversity and essential role in maintaining global climate cycles. This forest constitutes an invaluable economic and cultural asset for the country and plays a crucial role in climate change mitigation. Concern is growing over levels of deforestation caused by small-scale shifting cultivation, logging, cash crops, mineral extraction and charcoal production.
This paper is an English translation of the summary in the French Working Paper written by Mariteuw Chimère Diaw and Phil Franks and published by IIED in July 2019: Mariteuw Chimère Diaw et Phil Franks (2019) Production alimentaire, expansion agricole et déforestation au Mai-Ndombe, RDC. IIED document de travail, IIED, Londres.
The full Working Paper examines the relationship between deforestation, biodiversity loss, and food production in the Mai-Ndombe province in the DRC, and the disconnect between forest conservation policies and agricultural priorities for food security. It presents various alternatives to uncontrolled deforestation in the area and explores elements of REDD+.
While deforestation in the DRC will likely increase dramatically in the next few decades, an acceptance of attenuated and strategic deforestation could pave the way for better management of trade-offs between development and conservation.