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DRC FORESTS: New Timber Parks To Help Fight Illegal Logging

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) joined the East African Community (EAC) in 2022. This will offer the country, which has immense natural wealth, a huge market in neighbouring countries and direct access to new roads, railways and ports – and therefore potential global trade.

But as East African road and rail networks expand and transportation costs fall, the DRC’s eastern forests will become more vulnerable to surging demand by regional and global markets.

This could threaten one of the world’s richest biodiversity areas. The DRC’s eastern forests are one of the last remaining intact tracts of rainforest on the planet, second only to the Amazon.

They help to regulate climate and provide resources – like food, medicines, materials and shelter – to millions of people. They’re also rich in minerals and forest products. Timber is highly coveted for its commercial value and, once roads are opened to harvest it, further encroachment and deforestation may follow.

Read: Insight into Africa’s share in heavy burden of climate change

Effective management and monitoring of timber harvesting and trade is therefore key to ensure the country’s laws are respected, a fair share of the benefits is captured, and illegal timber exports and tax fraud are reduced.

Credit: East Africa Standard

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