Description of plantation resources
The country is rich with forests, still it suffers from degradation due to exploitation for fuelwood, especially around urban areas. Plantations have been therefore established to produce both timber and fuelwood and to protect land from erosion (Yobwa, 1996).
Development of forest plantations
The first plantation was established in 1905 with Terminalia superba. Most plantations have been planted with this species.
In the 1940s, the Forestry Service developed an agroforestry system based on banana production. At the same time, the government and private landowners established plantations for industrial wood production and for soil protection, especially in mountainous areas. Terminalia superba again was the predominant species. Other species planted for industrial production of wood included Ceiba pentandra, Bombax flammeum, Entandrophragma spp., Lovoa trichilioides, Eucalyptus spp., Grevillea robusta, Casuarina equisetifolia and Cupressus spp.
Between 1960 and 1962, plantation activity was interrupted. It resumed between 1963 and 1970, but only on a small scale. In 1969, a project was launched to supply fuelwood to the capital area. This project used some promising species including Eucalyptus camaldulensis, E. tereticornis and Acacia auriculiformis (Papas, 1997).
Terminalia spp. has been one of the main species since the first plantation and has been used for industrial purposes. Eucalyptus spp., Acacia spp., Pinus spp. and Gmelina arborea have been used to produce fuelwood and to protect the land (MECN, 1992).
No information available.
Despite the large extent of forest, precise knowledge of area, distribution and on-going activities within the country is sparse or totally absent due to lack of financial, material and human resources. This is a problem not only for plantations but also for natural forests (Yobwa, 1996).
Kanu Mbizi. 1999. Étude relative aux ressources forestières en Republique Democratique du Congo. Kinshasa, Ministère des Affaires Foncières, environnement, Conservation de la Nature, Pêche et forêts.
MECN. 1992. Rapport national d´activites forestières. En Ninth session of African Forestry and Wildlife Commission, Kigali Rwanda, 10-14 de agosto de 1992. Kinshasa, Ministère de l´Environnement et Conservation de la Nature.
MECN. 1997. Evaluation mondiale des ressources forestières: Rapport sur la situation des forêts 1997. Kinshasa. Ministère de l´Environnement et Conservation de la Nature.
Yobwa, I. 1996. National report: Zaire. En Global Resource Assessment 2000, FAO 10-14 junio 1996, Kotka, Finlandia. Kinshasa, Ministère de l´Environnement et Conservation de la Nature.