Congo: World Resource Institute (WRI) and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, and Tourism (MECN-T) launched the first-ever DRC Interactive Forest Atlas – a GIS-based mapping and information system designed to shed light on the country’s logging activities.
Using a combination of GIS-based interactive maps and data sets, the Atlas and accompanying report provide an accurate presentation of activities occurring within the DRC forest sector. More specifically, the Interactive Forest Atlas begins to meet the needs of both the Congolese administration and non-governmental actors by integrating forest sector information into one, user-friendly, publicly available resource. As a “one stop shop” on logging activities, logging operator information, concession boundaries, and protected areas, the Atlas serves as a vehicle to help all stakeholders – from government ministries and private operators to NGOs and local communities – enforce regulations and defend their rights.
Future versions will expand upon the 2009 data included in this premier version. Through these updates, as well as continuous training of government, civil society, and private actors on how to use the Atlas to address their needs, WRI and MECN-T aim to ensure that the DRC economy develops on a sustainable track – for the benefit of the country’s fragile forests and the livelihoods dependent upon them.
The DRC Interactive Atlas is part of WRI’s suite of country-specific Atlases in the Congo Basin. WRI, through support from USAID’s CARPE program and in cooperation with local ministries and organizations, has produced and continues to update Atlases in the following countries: Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic and Republic of Congo.