Posted on May 17, 2018 5:36:00 AM
KISANGANI (5 May)– the integrated provincial program for the (former) Oriental provinces (Tshopo, Ituri and Bas Uele) - commonly called the “Oriental programme”, was today launched to “forge a global vision of development that takes into account both the protection of natural resources - and particularly forest resources - and the improvement of people's livelihoods”, according to FONAREDD Deputy National Coordinator, Victor Kabengele. CAFI, through the FONAREDD, is funding this programme.
The Governor of Tshopo Province, Constant Lomata, hosted the launch in Kisangani.
Between 2001 and 2014, Tshopo, Ituri and Bas Uele provinces experienced a loss of forest cover estimated at 13 288 km². This loss represents an average rate of around 4%, with a small variation between Provinces. The overall carbon impact of the Oriental programme interventions is estimated at about 10.8 million tCO2eq or approximately 10.4-11.1% of emissions in the target areas. UNDP Country Director's Representative, Etienne De Souza remarked that it is “essential [in the] fight against deforestation and forest degradation in the DRC “.
The programme also aims to improve the income of target populations by 10%; in particular by increasing the yields of staple crops, cash crops and agroforestry. As implementing agency, UNDP will focus on the sustainable improvement of income in local communities, including indigenous people, women and youth.
These two impacts are fully aligned with CAFI’s dual objective of emission reductions and poverty reduction across the Central African region.
The programme will focus on the hotspots for deforestation and degradation in the three provinces that are concentrated along the roads and around larger urban areas (Kisangani, Bunia, Buta, Aketi, Bondo, etc.).
The launch was an opportunity for many to voice their recommendations for success, including:
The Orientale program will tackle the five main direct drivers of deforestation in the region: slash and burn agriculture, the artisanal exploitation of timber, the production of wood energy, artisanal mining and concession logging (albeit indirectly). As well as key underlying drivers, including: weak governance of natural resources, demographic pressure, rehabilitation of road infrastructure and rapid urbanization.
To achieve this, the program will improve management of land use and natural resources, implement more effective administration and support the promotion of alternative production models that reduce the pressure on resources and diversify incomes. The adoption of these models and compliance with land and natural resource management rules will be incentivised.
This article is based on an original text from the UNDP Country Office in the DRC.
 WRI, 2014. For more data, see also the DRC FREL submitted in January 2018.
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