Massive Deforestation in the Congo Basin Will Lead to Poverty

By Sylvie Djacbou Deugoue

YAOUNDÉ, May 13 2022 (IPS) – Growing up amid under the leafy canopy of the Congo Basin rainforest, the woodland was more than our home. It was our playground, our medicine cabinet, our teacher, our therapist. And it was a source of livelihood with its rich biodiversity and helped shield us from the effects of climate change.

The mounting tension between economic growth and healthy forest life over years has led to the destruction of some of the world’s oldest forests and the resulting poverty of its communities. This massive deforestation has led to the expropriation of indigenous and local communities from their ancestral land without their consent, increased carbon emissions, migration and the disappearance of Indigenous communities’ culture and languages.

Rather than developing our country, the changes are impoverishing forest communities and leaving the entire region more vulnerable to climate change and diseases.