What it's about:
It is illegal to cut down mangroves to make charcoal in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The problem is that in a country where more than 4.6 million children are acutely malnourished and over 90 percent of people don’t have enough food to eat, many people simply don’t feel they have a choice in the matter. They view cutting down mangroves as a source of income, light or heat for cooking, according to an article written by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo is offering citizens alternative ways to make a living, teaching them to manufacture energy-efficient ovens so that they don't have to chop down mangroves to make a living any more.
By providing alternative livelihoods, the DRC government is supporting families to protect the environment and build climate-resilient lives.
Why it's noteworthy:
This story from the Democratic Republic of Congo demonstrates how environmental protection and economic prosperity can go hand-in-hand.
There are a host of benefits linked to the restoration of mangroves. The mangrove forests are important ecosystems which can help the DRC realise its nationally determined contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement, the UNDP article notes.
But most importantly, protection of mangroves will reduce the strength and impact of coastal erosion, preserving the livelihoods of people living on the shore.
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United Nations Development Programme