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Project January 28, 2022

The Challenges of Safeguarding the Mayombe in the Face of Overexploitation


The Mayombe mountain range is a densely forested massif. It extends from the province of Central Kongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the province of Nyanga in Gabon. Its most important part is in Congo-Brazzaville, where it is crossed by the national road number 1 (RN1), put into service in 2011.

But if the RN1, which connects Brazzaville to Pointe-Noire over a distance of some 517 kilometers, is an optimal response to the isolation from which the local residents have suffered for ages, we have witnessed over the past 10 years a kind of rush on the Mayombe forest massif. From slash-and-burn agriculture to artisanal activities and hunting, the Mayombe, an important part of the Congo Basin, has become the new El Dorado for many Congolese in search of fertile land and virgin forests to carry out their activities.

As a result, the Mayombe forest is shrinking at such a rate, that it is in danger of being rapidly emptied of its ecological potential, particularly its large carbon stock. The Congo Basin could thus be deprived of one of its important components.