The province of Tshopo is located centrally in the north of DR Congo. We are active in a large area in Bafwasende (an administrative part of the province) where numerous tributaries of the Congo River flow. One of these is the Tshopo River, which is important for the drinking water supply in the large city of Kisangani.
We are right in the middle of the enormous Congolese rainforest. Not only does it represent the lungs of our planet, but it also regulates the planetary rain cycle. These billions of green giants absorb CO2, but also release enormous volumes of water into the atmosphere. If the forest were to disappear, the rainfall pattern would change so drastically that in some places in the world it would no longer rain, or rain much less, or at different times. In addition, global warming would accelerate rapidly.
The huge forest around Bafwasende is managed by the small communities that live there. They can claim a management rebate from the government. The population is looking for ways to do this using sustainable methods, while at the same time seeking better economic prospects. Today large chunks of forest are being cleared and burned to accommodate agriculture.
What we do
Together with the Congolese organisation Tropenbos RDC, we are setting up initiatives for sustainable management of the rainforest. A selection of our activities:
- We protect a huge portion of rainforest from unsustainable logging, thereby supporting the committees responsible for managing the forest.
- We restore affected areas through reforestation.
- We provide education for better forest protection.
- We investigate how wood can be extracted in a sustainable way.
- We support agroforestry and agroecology, agricultural methods that involve planting not only crops, but also trees and soil and water conservation.
- We accelerate knowledge exchange in community forest management and set up initiatives with regard to advocacy.
These initiatives are part of a broader program in DR Congo that aims to keep clean and sufficient water available for people and nature alike. Efforts are being made to protect water resources, access to drinking water, and water for food production.