Since moving into an era of peace and stability, the Congo has become a champion of sustainable tropical forest management planning, participating in the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade EU-(FLEGT) initiative and implementing an ambitious forest certification program. Current deforestation and degradation rates are estimated around 0.2%. However, more than half a million hectares of forest lands could vanish each year between 2015 to 2020 as a result of the country’s National Development Plan and the Congo 2025 Vision (a strategy aimed at making the Congo an emerging economy by 2025).
These plans include ambitious targets for promoting soft commodities such as coffee, cocoa, rubber and palm oil, as well as mining activities and logging. Alongside unsustainable wood fuel consumption, illegal logging, and urban development, these plans may exacerbate deforestation rates. Recognizing these risks, the Congolese government has partnered with the REDD+ activities to assist in sustainable development and forest conservation. The REDD+ process is seen as a unique leverage to foster cross-sector harmonious land planning.