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Congo - November 2018 

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Between 2000 and 2014, the forests of the Congo Basin lost the equivalent of ¼ of the French territory. The biggest driver is nothing but obvious!

A study published in the journal Science Advances reveals that small-scale subsistence agriculture could bring about the eradication of all primary tropical rainforests in the Congo Basin by 2100 if current trends are maintained.

According to the authors, the poverty resulting from political instability and the lack of economic alternatives drives families to convert forested areas into agricultural land by using simple axes. These plots are cultivated until the soil is depleted of nutrients, after which new plots are cleared to replace them. This practice contrasts sharply with the situation in South America and South-East Asia, where industrial pressure for palm oil or soybean production causes deforestation.

This study reinforces the position that Man and Nature defends with each of its projects in Central Africa: the conservation of tropical ecosystems requires the economic development of local communities. The valorization of products originating from the forest but also the development of cash-crops grown within sustainable agroforestry frameworks make it possible to generate incomes for the local populations, and offer an economic interest for the protection and sustainable management of the tropical forest.

 

 

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