Deforestation, Environment, and Sustainable Development: A Comparative Analysis

By Dhirendra K. Vajpeyi | Go to book overview

Chapter 10
Deforestation in the Democratic
Republic of Congo and in Kenya
Dhirendra K. Vajpeyi, Olivier Rukundo, and John K. SagalaUncontrolled and unregulated deforestation in Africa has reached a critical point. Africa is losing between 3 and 5 million hectares of tropical forest each year. At this rate the tropical forests in Africa will be gone by 2040. Many reasons contribute to this deforestation:
1. The growing population of land-hungry peasants cut forests for agricultural land.
2. There is an increasing demand for timber for export to Japan and other rich countries.
3. Most rural Africans use firewood as fuel.
4. Overgrazing of the forests.
5. Pollution of tropical forests is an ever-growing concern.

Following is an analysis of two countries in Africa: the Republic of Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (formerly Zaire). Both coun- tries occupy important places in the ecosystem of the region and have been prominent in the deforestation debate.


THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
(FORMERLY ZAIRE)

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the third-largest country in Africa, with an area of about 2,344,885 square kilometers, and is home to half of Africa's moist tropical forests, hosting a wide array of plants and animal life.

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