Causes of Deforestation in Congo

Updated October 19, 2020

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Causes of Deforestation in Congo essay

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Geospatial technology refers to all of the technology used to acquire, manipulate, and store geographic information. It includes geographical information (GIS), remote sensing, global positioning system (GPS), cartography, spatial analysis, and location based services.

  • Gis is an information system designed to collect, store, process, analyse, manage and present all types of spatial and geographic data.
  • Remote sensing is the scientific discipline which brings together all of the knowledge and techniques used for observation, analysis, interpretation and management of the environment from measurements and images obtained using airborne, space, land or sea platforms.
  • Global positioning system it is a system of satellites and receiving devices used to determine positions on Earth.
  • Cartography is the production and study of geographic and geological maps.
  • Spatial analysis is a geographic approach which studies localizations and spatial interactions as active components of societal functioning.
  • Location based services are information and entertainment services that are delivered to mobile device users based on their geographic locations.


Deforestation is the reduction of the area of forests in the world. Human activities are the main cause of deforestation. This is due to the fact that these activities are considered more profitable in the short term than the preservation or sustainable management of forests. Deforestation is when forest areas are definitively lost (or at least lost in the long term) to the benefit of other uses such as agriculture, urbanization or mining activities.

Deforestation in the republic democratic of Congo

The Congo Basin forest is the second largest tropical forest in the world and spans 6 countries (DRC, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea). 60% of this forest is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, making it the second tropical forest country after Brazil. Even if deforestation in the Congo Basin is relatively low compared to the Amazon and the Southeast Asian, it has doubled in the last ten years. Of more, when we look country by country, we notice the deforestation is more significant in the DRC and is accelerating quickly, revealing a disturbing dynamic.

Causes and consequences of deforestation in DRC


Worldwide, the main causes of deforestation are the extension of agricultural areas, the exploitation of underground (minerals and hydrocarbons) and exploitation excessive forest resources, such as timber and non-wood forest products (plants, animals, mushrooms and others). In the Amazon, deforestation is mainly due to the creation of pastures for livestock cattle and soybean cultivation, while in Southeast Asia, it is the exploitation of palm oil that requires deforestation.

Recently, the demand for biofuels has increased the pressure on forests. All of this is accentuated by world population growth and the increase consumption with development, especially the growing demand for meat. In the DRC, there is currently little or no of industrial farming. Deforestation is mainly caused by the demand for energy wood (Makala and wood), of which 90% of the population depends on cooking and shifting farming on broils, which also remains the main activity of a large part of the population.

The operation of minerals and lumber are other factors that cause deforestation in the DRC. All of these causes of deforestation are accentuated by the strong demographic growth, the dependence of the populations the poorest in forest resources, the poor governance and an undiversified economy that depends mainly from the exploitation of natural resources. In the future, with population growth and the development of the country, one can imagine that the pressure on forest resources will increase to produce the food and other resources needed by the population.

The development of infrastructure, such as roads allow access to hitherto inaccessible forest areas, which increases deforestation.


  •  Disappearance of plants and animals on which depend the poorest for food. With deforestation, many species are disappearing. Socioeconomic studies show the poorer households are, the more they depend on forest resources, which represent up to 80% of their income!
  • Reduced rains, causing lack of water for the needs of households and agriculture. Indeed 70% of the rains in the Congo Basin are due to evapotranspiration from the forest.
  • Loss of soil fertility, which is leached out by the rains and the wind, because it is no longer protected by vegetation.
  • Climate change, which will cause disruptive climatic conditions disrupting agriculture and more intense rains and droughts. Of recent research has shown that forests are drying up Congo Basin due to reduced precipitation, which could have serious consequences. Impact the poorest populations in particular who depend on forest resources and agriculture to live.

Tropical forests are at the heart of international challenges on climate change and biodiversity conservation. Being the second largest tropical forest ecosystem after Amazonia, the Congo Basin plays an important role in the continental climate system. These African forests provide livelihoods for 60 million people who live or reside nearby (food, pharmacopoeia, fuels, fiber, non-wood forest products). They also fulfill social and cultural functions. These forests contribute more indirectly to the 40 million people who live in urban centers close to these forest areas. Forestry includes the management of natural resources in wooded areas. In addition to wood, forests provide resources such as pasture for animals, wildlife habitat, water resources and recreational areas.

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Causes of Deforestation in Congo. (2020, Sep 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/causes-of-deforestation-in-congo/


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