DR Congo

58.9% —or about 133,610,000 hectares—of DR Congo is forested.

Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, DR Congo lost an average of 532,400 hectares of forest per year. The amounts to an average annual deforestation rate of 0.38%. Between 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change decreased by 37.7% to 0.24% per annum. In total, between 1990 and 2005, DR Congo lost 4.9% of its forest cover, or around 6,921,000 hectares. Measuring the total rate of habitat conversion (defined as change in forest area plus change in woodland area minus net plantation expansion) for the 1990-2005 interval, DR Congo lost 3.1% of its forest and woodland habitat.

Biodiversity and Protected Areas: DR Congo has some 2100 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 6.6% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 3.5% are threatened. DR Congo is home to at least 11007 species of vascular plants, of which 10.0% are endemic. 5.1% of DR Congo is protected under IUCN categories I-V.

Congo, Dem Rep Environmental profile


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DR Congo : Forest types
Tropical (% forest area)100%
Subtropical (% forest area)0%
Temperate (% forest area)0%
Boreal/polar (% forest area)0%

DR Congo: Breakdown of forest types, 2005
Primary forest (ha | %)--
Modified natural (ha | %)--
Semi-natural (ha | %)--
Production plantation (ha | %)--
Production plantation (ha | %)--

DR Congo: Change in Forest Cover
Forest 1990 (ha)140,531,000
Forest 2000 (ha)135,207,000
Forest 2005 (ha)133,610,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(532,400)-0.38%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(319,400)-0.24%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(6,921,000)-4.92%
Change in rate (%)-37.65%
Primary 1990 (ha)-
Primary 2000 (ha)-
Primary 2005 (ha)-
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)--
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)--
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)--
Change in rate (%)-
Other 1990 (ha)83,277,000
Other 2000 (ha)83,277,000
Other 2005 (ha)83,277,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)-0.00%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Change in rate (%)#DIV/0!
Other 1990 (ha)-
Other 2000 (ha)-
Other 2005 (ha)-
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)--
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)--
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)--
Change in rate (%)-
Forest area+Wooded Area-Plantations
Other 1990 (ha)223,808,000
Other 2000 (ha)218,484,000
Other 2005 (ha)216,887,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(532,400)-0.24%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(319,400)-0.15%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(6,921,000)-3.09%
Change in rate (%)-38.55%

DR Congo: Primary
Primary or "old-growth" vegetation
Primary Forest 2005 (ha)-
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)-
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)0
Undisturbed vegetation 2005 (% land area)0.00%

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DR Congo: Disturbances affecting forest land 2000
Forest Area annually affected by
Fire (%)-
Insects (ha)-
Diseases (ha)-
Other (ha)-

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DR Congo: Biodiversity - Plants
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Number of Native tree species
Native tree species870
Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Critically Endangered0
Vascular Plant Species, 2004
Number endemic1100
Number of Threatened Plant Species, 2004
Species threatened65

DR Congo: Value of forests
Biomass stock in forest, 2005
Above-ground biomass (M t)37,376
Below-ground biomass (M t)8,970
Dead wood (M t)2,432
Total (M t)48,778
Carbon stock in forest, 2005
Carbon in above-ground biomass (M t)18,688
Carbon in below-ground biomass (M t)4,485
Carbon in dead wood (M t)1,216
Carbon in litter (M t)281
Soil carbon (M t)7,482
Change in growing stock 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate (1000 cubic m/yr)
Growing stock per hectare 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate ( cubic m/ha per yr)
Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (1000 cubic m)4,199
Wood fuel (1000 cubic m)78,795
Total wood removal 2005 (1000 cubic m)82,994
Total wood removal 2005 (% of growing stock)n.s.
Plant products 2005
Food (t)-
Fodder (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Raw material for utensils, handicrafts & construction (t)-
Ornamental plants (t)-
Exudates (t)-
Other plant products (t)-
Animal products 2005
Living animals (units)-
Hides, skins and trophies (units)-
Wild honey and bee-wax (t)-
Bush meat (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Other edible animal products (t)-
Other non-edible animal products (t)-
Value of wood and non-wood forest product removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (US$)-
Wood fuel (US$)-
Non-wood forest products (US$)-
Total value (US$)-
Total value ($USD/ha)$-
Employment in forestry 2000
Total people employed-

DR Congo: Production, trade and consumption of forest products, 2002
Woodfuel ('000 cubic m), 2002
Industrial roundwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Sawnwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Wood-based panels ('000 cubic m), 2002
Pulp for paper ('000 metric tons), 2002
Paper and paperboard ('000 metric tons), 2002
DR Congo: Environment
Environment - current issuespoaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation; refugees responsible for significant deforestation, soil erosion, and wildlife poaching; mining of minerals (coltan - a mineral used in creating capacitors, diamonds, and gold) causing environmental damage
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Natural hazardsperiodic droughts in south; Congo River floods (seasonal); in the east, in the Great Rift Valley, there are active volcanoes

DR Congo: Land use / Resources
Land use (%)arable land: 2.96%
permanent crops: 0.52%
other: 96.52% (2001)
Natural resourcescobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, timber

DR Congo: Economy
Economy - overview:The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - a nation endowed with vast potential wealth - has declined drastically since the mid-1980s. The war, which began in August 1998, dramatically reduced national output and government revenue, increased external debt, and resulted in the deaths of perhaps 3.5 million people from war, famine, and disease. Foreign businesses curtailed operations due to uncertainty about the outcome of the conflict, lack of infrastructure, and the difficult operating environment. Conditions improved in late 2002 with the withdrawal of a large portion of the invading foreign troops. The transitional government has reopened relations with international financial institutions and international donors, with President KABILA implementing reforms. Much economic activity lies outside the GDP data. Economic stability improved in 2003-05, although an uncertain legal framework, corruption, and a lack of openness in government policy continues to hamper growth. In 2005, renewed activity in the mining sector, the source of most exports, boosted Kinshasa's fiscal position and GDP growth. Business and economic prospects are expected to improve once a new government is installed after elections.
GDP - per capita$800 (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate (%)6.5% (2005 est.)
Agriculture - productscoffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, quinine, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, bananas, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products
GDP - composition by sector (%)agriculture: 55%, industry: 11%, services: 34% (2000 est.)
Industries mining (diamonds, copper, zinc), mineral processing, consumer products (including textiles, footwear, cigarettes, processed foods and beverages), cement, commercial ship repair
Economic aid - recipient$2.2 billion (FY03/04)
Debt - external$10.6 billion (2003 est.)
Population below poverty line (%)NA
Labor force - by occupation (%)NA

DR Congo: Population / Demographics
Population (July 2005)60,085,804
Population growth rate (%) (2005)2.98%
Population density (people/sq km) (2005)26.5
Median age (years)total: 15.8 years
Total fertility rate (children born/woman)6.54 (2005 est.)
Ethnic groups (%)over 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up about 45% of the population

Largest Cities in Congo Dem Republic

Cities and urban areas in Congo Dem Republic with population over 100,000 All figures are estimates for 2002.

CityCountryCity PopulationUrban Area Population
KinshasaCongo Dem Republic63011007527500
LubumbashiCongo Dem Republic10746001074600
Mbuji-MayiCongo Dem Republic9058001054400
KolweziCongo Dem Republic803900803900
KanangaCongo Dem Republic539600539600
KisanganiCongo Dem Republic510300818800
LikasiCongo Dem Republic375100375100
BomaCongo Dem Republic352200352200
TshikapaCongo Dem Republic319600319600
BukavuCongo Dem Republic236400504600
MatadiCongo Dem Republic224700224700
KikwitCongo Dem Republic222500222500
MbandakaCongo Dem Republic206800206800
Mwene-DituCongo Dem Republic198800198800
UviraCongo Dem Republic194500194500
ButemboCongo Dem Republic148900148900
GomaCongo Dem Republic148400148400
IsiroCongo Dem Republic135600135600
BuniaCongo Dem Republic129000129000
GemenaCongo Dem Republic120000120000
KinduCongo Dem Republic119000119000
BandunduCongo Dem Republic116700116700
KalemieCongo Dem Republic108200108200
IleboCongo Dem Republic104800104800

 Environment, Land use / Resources, Economy, Population / Demographics, Infrastructure, Health -- CIA World Factbook, 2005
 Forest Cover, Forest types, Breakdown of forest types, Change in Forest Cover, Primary forests, Forest designation, Disturbances affecting forest land, Value of forests, Production, trade and consumption of forest products -- The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS's Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005) and the State of the World’s Forests (2005, 2003, 2001)
 Protected Areas, Plant and animal biodiversity -- United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). 2004. World Database on Protected Areas.
 Biosphere reservers -- United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Man and Biosphere Program. 2004. UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory.
 RAMSAR sites -- The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands . 2005. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
 World Resources Institute's EarthTrends web site
 The 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
 Population Data -- United Nations Population Fund
 With additional analysis by Rhett Butler of

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