An area of rainforest the size of Italy is at risk of being cut down by loggers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), if the Norwegian government approves a French Development Agency (AFD) proposal to expand industrial logging there starting 2018.

AFD’s programme – called the “Sustainable Forest Management Programme” (PGDF) – has as one of its main objectives to triple the area of DRC allocated to industrial logging concessions to 300,000 km2 (or a quarter of the country’s forests) and to increase the amount of timber which is produced by a factor of 15.3.

Furthermore, if adopted, this programme could be responsible for releasing at least 610,000,000 tonnes of CO2, which is almost as much as the international aviation sector emitted in 2015.

Astonishingly, the programme is part of international efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions by combating tropical deforestation, entitled “Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation” (REDD+). This programme would increase the number of trees felled, without contributing to the fight against deforestation, and without contributing to the economic development of the country.

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