Restoring forests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is vital for several reasons:
1. Global Climate Regulation: The DRC's forests, particularly the Congo Basin, play a crucial role in regulating the global climate by sequestering large amounts of carbon dioxide.
2. Biodiversity Conservation: The DRC's forests are one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, home to many unique and endangered species, including the bonobo and forest elephants.
3. Water Cycle Maintenance: These forests are essential in maintaining the water cycle, affecting rainfall patterns both locally and globally.
4. Livelihoods and Economic Development: Millions of people depend on the forests for their livelihoods through activities like agriculture, fishing, and collecting forest products.
5. Cultural Significance: For many indigenous and local communities, the forests have deep cultural and spiritual significance.
6. Environmental Stability: Forests help stabilize the environment, preventing soil erosion, and maintaining fertile land for agriculture.
7. Adaptation to Climate Change: Healthy forests provide resilience against climate change impacts like droughts and floods.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) houses the Congo Basin, a vital ecosystem with the world's second-largest rainforest, acting as a key carbon sink and biodiversity hotspot.
Despite its ecological importance, 99% of the DRC's rural population grapples with extreme poverty, driven by ongoing conflicts and rainforest depletion, with the DRC losing more forest cover than any country except Brazil since 2017.
Plant With Purpose started in the DRC in 2015, boosting forest protection, ecosystem restoration, and regenerative farming. This effort has provided an extra daily meal on average for participants and promoted unity through spiritual renewal. By investing in spirituality, ecology, and finances, communities are breaking the cycles of poverty and violence.
In 2015, our partner, Plant With Purpose, initiated our efforts in South Kivu, focusing on the Kakumba watershed. Over the subsequent seven years, they’ve extended our program to encompass seven different watersheds within the South Kivu region.
Here are some key statistics from our partner’s efforts: They have programs in seven watersheds, involving 369 savings groups and benefiting 10,489 participating families, which amounts to 88,632 individuals. They've also established 127 church partnerships and have planted an impressive 4,371,540 trees.