Republic of the Congo
In the Republic of the Congo, forests and savannah grasslands cover much of the landscape, and play a major economic and ecological role both for the country’s growing population and for the global community. Congo’s extraordinary environment supports economic development and is home to more than 400 mammal species, 1,000 bird species, and nearly 10,000 plant species, of which 3,000 are found nowhere else.
The Republic of the Congo is home to the highest known populations of the critically endangered western lowland gorilla, which reside in the country’s northern forests. However, there are numerous threats to these ecosystems and their inhabitants. The unsustainable extraction of timber and mineral resources, uncontrolled agricultural expansion, an active bush-meat trade, and increasing development pressures due to population growth are threats to gorilla populations and the many other animals that reside in the forest.
In the Republic of the Congo, the U.S. Forest Service seeks to strengthen the institutional and technical capacity of the Ministry of Forest Economy (MEF), focusing on forest inventory and monitoring, fire management, sustainable ecotourism development, and institutional capacity development. With activities at the national level as well as in the field, the U.S. Forest Service collaborates with a range of local and international NGOs and universities.
To support the implementation of the Republic of the Congo’s National Forest Monitoring System, the U.S. Forest Service, through the U.S. Department of State’s Climate Fellow program has embedded a technical advisor in the Ministry of Forest Economy who is specifically working on the development of a REDD+ Measurement, Reporting, and Verification System.
In collaboration with the U. S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), USFS is also working to strengthen the institutional capacity of government law enforcement and forestry officials and relevant community and civil society actors to combat illegal logging and related financial crimes. In the Republic of the Congo, USFS is working to establish and mentor a law enforcement task force with the aim to empower judicial and other forestry law enforcement as well as facilitate communication and coordination among those engaged in monitoring and managing the timber harvest and export supply chains.
learn more about our work in the Republic of the Congo
Activities in the Republic of the Congo are implemented under the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Central Africa Program for the Environment (CARPE) and the USAID and U.S. State Department funded SilvaCarbon program. The technical advisor embedded in the National REDD+ Coordination body is funded by the U.S. Department of State.