Climate risks in the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) and Congo Basin
The Congo Basin is the world’s second largest tropical rainforest, home to rare biodiversity, and acts as a massive carbon sink, mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To preserve this important ecosystem, USAID established the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE). Rising temperatures and rainfall changes impact landscapes targeted by CARPE in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of the Congo (ROC) and Central African Republic (CAR) (see map). These regions are characterized by significant social vulnerability, political instability and poverty. The livelihoods of some 80 million people depend on natural resources and forests, which cover nearly 2 million km2 across these three countries. Other livelihood activities include mining, climate-sensitive rainfed agriculture, fishing and hunting. Biodiversity across the region, including some of the only remaining populations of great apes and forest elephants, is highly endangered and will be further impacted as climate change alters species distribution and habitats.
Urbanization has increased demand for charcoal and tropical forest products, placing additional pressure on the region’s forests. This profile describes climate risks across key sectors – forestry, agriculture, energy, water and health – in CARPE countries. (19, 21, 22, 24, 25)