< Back to previous page


Investigating the impact of a long-term research and conservation project on the expansion of land use and land cover in a remote area of central DRC

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Anthropogenic impact and population growth have caused a dramatic loss of biodiversity worldwide. Deforestation due to logging, mining, and burning are of particular severity in tropical rainforests with the Amazonian and Congolese basins harboring the largest reminders on our planet. While research projects particularly those with permanent presence on ground have been considered as excellent conservation measures to protect habitat and wildlife, no studies are known to assess their negative implications. Here, we assess the impact of a long-term research project on the tropical rainforest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We investigate the LuiKotale Bonobo project (LKBP) established for research and conservation in 2002, closely cooperating with several villages located in the buffer zone of Salonga National Park, Block South, Territoire d'Inongo, Province Mai-Ndombe, DRC. We combine the results of Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) drawn from satellite imagery with population data for four villages comparing anthropogenic impact before and after establishment of the project covering 31 years between 1987 and 2018. While deforestation decreased in Lompole, the first and main village of collaboration, it increased continuously over time in neighboring villages. Increase can be linked to population growth and cash income provided by the LKBP with habitants investing into construction material and expansion of agricultural fields for cash crops. © 2022
Journal: Trees, Forests and People
Volume: 11
Publication year:2023