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Project September 29, 2020

How Involving Local Communities Can Help Protect the Environment and Save Peatland



Discovered in 2017, the Congo Basin's peatlands hold an estimated 30 million tons of carbon. Today, the question of how to protect this resource is the subject of many debates.

These peatlands traverse two countries — The Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Here, the resource is threatened by logging and fossil fuel exploitation, thus becoming the subject of many activism campaigns. Contrastingly, the people living closest to the peatland forests are unaware of the importance of this area in the fight against climate change and why it's so important to protect the resource.

Thus, our reporting will focus on the involvement of local and Indigenous communities in protecting peatlands in the province of Equateur, through the following questions:

  • How do scientific research and protection efforts underway involve local communities?
  • How does national civil society work to ensure that international advocacy around peatland protection involves a role for local communities?
  • What is the role of communities in government policy for peatland protection?
  • How are communities involved in protecting the environment?