Isangi Congo Rainforest Conservation ProjectDemocratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
The Isangi project is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the heart of the Congo basin forest sometimes referred to as, "the left lung of the planet". Isangi is located at the confluence of the Congo and the Lomami Rivers. The Isangi project area is comprised of upland and lowland tropical forests that harbor a critical center of biodiversity and supports a large but isolated human population. The Isangi project was formerly a Safbois owned logging concession, converted by Jadora to a REDD+ project to preserve this critical ecosystem. Current project activities and the secession of logging has demonstrated the Isangi project will remove over ten million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the earth's atmosphere through improved management -- enough to offset three months of carbon emissions for the city of New York or 100,000 average US households for a year.
The Isangi project provides many benefits to indigenous people. The project area is home to 30 villages with a combined population of more than 50,000 people. The Isangi project protects high conservation value forests, providing ancillary benefits to the wildlife and the people and is one of the most diverse habitats on the planet. It supports threatened and endangered species such as leopards, forest elephants, Red River hogs, 14 species of primates, (most notably the Bonobo chimpanzee), dwarf crocodiles, hornbills and rare bats. The area hosts 11% of the world's known bird species and is a haven of biodiversity.
- A former logging concession converted to a REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) conservation project
- Project area: 184,000 hectares of primary forest
- Verified and Validated in September 2014, achieving the highest industry standard, a Gold rating by the VCS and CCBA
- Ten million metric tons of carbon sequestered
- Home to rare and critically endangered habitat, most notably the Bonobo Chimpanzee
- Unprecedented positive social and economic benefit to the local community
The Isangi project provides a safe haven for an impressive list of threatened species – some of which are highly endangered. Eleven percent of the world's bird species and 14 different types of primates can be found in the forests of the project area. It supports threatened and endangered species such as leopards, forest elephants, Red River hogs, 14 species of primates, (most notably the Bonobo chimpanzee), dwarf crocodiles, hornbills and rare bats. The examples above highlight what is currently known about the biodiversity of the Congo Basin, however there are species that have yet to be discovered and described in this relatively unexplored rainforest.
Sustainable community development is a critical part of any long-term forest management program. People able to provide for themselves through the programs that Jadora implements have incentives to protect their forests. Providing value in such a way that the environment remains intact allows for sustainable development, and builds stronger, more resilient communities.
The Isangi project is bringing much-needed jobs to the region. The numerous jobs created from this REDD+ project include, but are not limited to, forest conservation rangers, social outreach workers, teachers, horticulturalists, machinists, seamstresses, foresters, construction workers, drivers, mechanics, and administrative personnel. The project also supports micro-finance programs which enable community entrepreneurs to finance new local businesses.
Over the past few years, Jadora has constructed one large primary K-12 school, and three satellite schools in the project area. We have also provided modern communication with the outside world via satellite internet. The schools existing prior to the start of the project were inadequate. These four facilities and their outreach programs are already providing education for more than 3,000 students, and the establishment of more schools is underway.
Jadora also implemented education programs regarding improved agricultural practices, often implemented by Jadora-supported women's groups. The Isangi project supplied the local communities with disease-resistant crops and seeds, while introducing the practice of field soil improvement, intercropping and no-burn farming. These practices result in greater crop diversity and productivity, a wider range of nutritionally valuable crops, and a significant increase in the useable life of farmland. One good example of this has been the promotion of cultivating peanuts by women, a significant source of food and a plant that fixes nitrogen to rejuvenate tropical soils.
To date, Jadora has constructed 28 fish ponds stocked with native species in the project area. Along with edible caterpillars that naturally populate several endangered species of trees, these initiatives provide sources for protein that dramatically reduce the practice of illegally hunting bush meat in the project region.
We utilize existing water sources for low impact agriculture, and provide improved access to clean drinking water to the inhabitants of the Isangi project area.
1,699,905 metric tons of CO2e have been verified that covers the monitoring period 12 September 2009 to 31 December 2013. The project is validated and verified (September 2014) to both the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards.