IRRECOVERABLE CARBON COUNTRY PROFILE
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Together, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo contain almost 6% of Earth’s irrecoverable carbon. These two countries were combined because the peatlands of the Congo Basin straddle the border. In peatland ecosystems, waterlogged conditions slow the decomposition of plants after they die, creating rich soil carbon that can build up over hundreds or even thousands of years. In 2017, a research team exploring the Congo Basin found that the peat complex there was 16 times larger than had been previously known.
The country boundaries shown on this map are recognized by the country authority.
The carbon breakdown numbers are summarized according to MarineRegions.org, which is in the public domain. This may result in islands, territories and boundaries that do not accord strictly with those protocols used by the UN and other international organizations. The boundaries and territory/country names used by CI or by CI's partner organizations and contributors in this research do not imply endorsement or acceptance by CI of those boundaries or country names.
Protected area stats are from the World Database on Protected Areas, available at: www.protectedplanet.net. This spatial database is publicly available and displayed on https://irrecoverable.resilienceatlas.org/.
Indigenous & community lands stats are from spatial data compiled by the ICCA Consortium in 2021. This spatial dataset is extensive but not comprehensive, and it is not publicly available due to sensitivities with displaying Indigenous & community lands. More information can be found at: https://report.territoriesoflife.org/. Protected areas and Indigenous & community lands are not mutually exclusive and may overlap.
‘Loss from 2011-2020’ is derived from Hansen et al.’s spatial data on annual tree cover loss, which underpins Global Forest Watch (https://www.globalforestwatch.org/). We found that 83% of irrecoverable lands are tree-covered, so this dataset captures the majority but not all irrecoverable carbon loss globally.
Species numbers are derived from the habitat ranges of 10,744 species of birds, 5,219 mammals, 4,462 reptiles, and 6,254 amphibians. Thousands of scientists contribute to this data through IUCN (https://www.iucnredlist.org/) and BirdLife International. We included only those species whose habitat ranges had at least 100 sq km overlap with irrecoverable carbon lands.