DRC: King Philippe "welcomes" reforestation projects in the Katanga region

King Philippe addressing the inhabitants of the Congolese village of Katanga, 90 km from Lubumbashi, Saturday June 11, 2022. © Dénise Maheho / RFI

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

In his visit on Saturday June 11 to the community forestry project in the Katanga village, 90 km north of Lubumbashi, King Philippe of Belgium praised the reforestation efforts.

This region is experiencing a degradation of the clear forest called Miyombo forest following overexploitation by slash and burn agriculture and the production of charcoal.

For four years, the inhabitants of the Katanga village have resolved not only to preserve what remains of their forest, but also to reforest it.

The project is financed by the Global Environment Fund, of which Belgium is a contributor. 

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With our special correspondent in Katanga,

Denise Maheho

Several species of plants have disappeared and the

soil has deteriorated a lot

in recent decades.

Today, the inhabitants of the village are determined to protect their environment through a community forestry project: " 

The seedlings we planted have grown, that makes us happy and we are protecting them against bush fires

 ", explains Constatin Kibole , in charge of the village nursery.

To date, more than 483,000 seedlings of different species have been transplanted into the forest to enrich it.

A surveillance team has even been set up to track down illegal operators, explains Vandestine Kakuka, a member of the team:

“ 

If we intercept someone cutting wood, we tell them that cutting wood is prohibited in that area.

And he is advised to ask the village chief for a place where he can cut wood.

But not here, it's forbidden.

 »

For his part,

King Philip

, who visited this village, congratulated not only the inhabitants, but also the authorities for their determination in favor of the restoration of the forest:

“ 

I would like to salute the audacity of the customary chiefs who agreed to embark on this experiment.

They made it possible to sanctuary the forests located on their land.

 »

🌴This project is led by the government 🇨🇩 and local NGOs.

The @FAO, financially supported by the 🇧🇪, is responsible for supervision and technical support.

So far, 20 community forests have been created, making a total of 210,911 hectares of protected forests.

pic.twitter.com/vU72tvxgAe

— Belgian Royal Palace (@MonarchieBe) June 11, 2022

More than 334,000 hectares have been

allocated to local communities

by the provincial authorities of Haut-Katanga for the reconstitution of the forest.

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  • ground floor

  • Philip of Belgium

  • Belgium

  • Environment

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