20% of the Congo Basin forest is classified as productive forest, 12% is set aside for conservation and 10% for multiple use, including community forestry. The remaining 58% has not been classified.43 Conservation areas have been a prime source of conflict in the region. Traditionally, the approach taken by conservation organisations and governments has been strict nature conservation, excluding people living in the forest or utilising forest resources for their livelihood. Thousands of people have been expelled from forest areas in DRC because of conservation initiatives. Many people now live in the border areas of national parks, unable to obtain land. As the case study from Itombwe shows (see following pages), a participatory and inclusive approach to forest conservation is necessary.
From collection: State of the Rainforest