Protecting the rainforest ecosystems of the Congo Basin and enriching local communities
The Democratic Republic of Congo is home to vast swathes of Africa's tropical rainforests. Covering almost half the country, the incredibly diverse forest is one of the few in Africa to have survived the ice age, despite a reasonably slow level of deforestation, the threat from industrial and agricultural expansion looms large.
35 new Tilapia pond established and trees, including pineapple and cacao, planted
spent on medicine over 8 years and better access to basic healthcare services of clean water and antibiotics
on sanitation, education, waste management, biodiversity restoration, beekeeping, and 400+ hours of educational radio
created including 10 teachers, 40 in forestry, 1 nurse & 12 in microfinance
built in the project area
avoided on average annually by preventing deforestation 324,000 tonnes of CO2e avoided on average annually by preventing deforestation
protected by the project
The Isangi conservation project operates across 187,571 hectares of rainforest, preventing its conversion into subsistence agriculture and conserving the immensely biodiverse area around the Congo Basin. The project also improves the livelihood of forest-dependent local communities, simultaneously addressing a major driver of deforestation in the area through developing sustainable income streams, such as tilapia farming and agroforestry. The project also runs a number of initiatives including sustainably intensifying existing agricultural practices and implementing land-use planning.
Jacques Ipoma Bongongo, Project Manager for the Isangi Forest Conservation project
Selective logging and pressure from subsistence farming and bushmeat hunting was impacting the forest and local biodiversity. The REDD+ project was established to empower the community to thrive in harmony with the rainforest.
The project undergoes thorough assessment for its climate, biodiversity and community impacts under the VCS and CCBS standards. Though the project will run for 40 years, it is designed to create long-term economic and behavioural changes so the forest is protected long after the carbon finance ends.
The project has made dedicated efforts to engage and involve women in the project, for example as they can be important drivers of change.
Along with caterpillar farming, tilapia farming has taken off, there are now over 20 ponds built and managed by the community and supplied with fry from the project.
As well as hiring a new Senior biodiversity consultant, the project has invested in more wildlife cameras to monitor the coming and goings of the project's furry residents. Spotted recently was a Red Duiker, which is classified as threatened in the region by the IUCN.
By stopping the conversion of rainforest into land for agriculture, the Isangi project significantly reduces deforestation rates. Not only does this mitigate 324,534 tonnes of CO2 on average annually, it conserves the habitat of diverse local species thereby preserving ecosystem biodiversity. The project also has a range of local community benefits; it alleviates poverty by promoting sustainable economic development and food security, improves public health, funds new local education programs, and helps maintain traditional cultural and spiritual identities while promoting understanding of biodiversity in the project zone and the wider Congo Basin.