Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; February 10, 2023 – Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), is pleased to announce a new five-year partnership to support community-led conservation and sustainable development, income generating activities, and entrepreneurial networks and value chains in Community Forest Concessions for 500 villages in the critically important Salonga-Lukenie-Sankuru (SLS) landscape of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The partnership will support a new phase and level of collaboration between DRC’s agency for the conservation of nature, the Institut Congolais pour la conservation de la Nature (ICCN) and the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) to revitalize the governance and management of Salonga National Park and promote inclusive, community-led models of conservation and sustainable development in the park’s periphery.
The USAID-WWF partnership will help conserve the SLS landscape by supporting 150 local communities, including the indigenous Twa people, to secure their land and forest rights and establish inclusive natural resource management models. The project also aims to reduce dependence on unsustainable practices that threaten forest and freshwater ecosystems and degrade natural resources in 500 villages located within approximately 20 km of the Salonga park boundary. Through increased agricultural productivity, wise and sustainable use of non-timber forest products, better market access, effective local financing mechanism, and improved social services; people living in these communities will benefit from increased incomes and improved living conditions.
The Activity reflects the United States Government’s broader commitment to help governments and communities work together on long-term sustainable management of their natura
l resources. As USAID’s largest land management program in Africa, CARPE helps conserve the ecosystem of the Congo Basin.
Spanning more than 100,000 square kilometers, the SLS landscape encompasses globally important forest and freshwater ecosystems and is a vital source of food, water, fuel, transport, and livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of people. At the heart of the landscape, Salonga National Park is Africa’s largest tropical forest park and a UNESCO World Heritage site of exceptional importance for biodiversity and global climate regulation. The park’s remarkable wildlife includes nearly 1,500 critically endangered forest elephants and over 40 percent of the world’s remaining bonobos.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID works to help lift lives, build communities, and advance democracy. USAID’s work demonstrates American generosity and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. President John. F. Kennedy created the United States Agency for International Development by executive order in 1961 to lead the U.S. government’s international development and humanitarian efforts.
WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in nearly 100 countries for over half a century to help people and nature thrive. With the support of more than 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat the climate crisis.
For additional information, please contact.
Ineke Stoneham, Spokesperson, Embassy of the United States, email@example.com
Kenze Ndamukenze, Communication and Partnership Manager, WWF DRC, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: +243 821 036 237