The DRC’s forest area is estimated at 155 million hectares (70 percent of DRC total area and 60 percent of the Congo Basin’s forest area). Deforestation rates have almost doubled in the last decade (2010-2020) compared with 2000-2010. The DRC reported a loss of over one million hectares annually between 2010 and 2020, the third highest in the world behind China and Brazil.
Deforestation is reportedly driven by a range of factors, with studies pointing to slash-and-burn agriculture and, increasingly, artisanal logging which is often illegal, as well as charcoal production. Industrial forest concessions only cover roughly 7 percent of the DRC’s forests with the World Resources Institute suggesting that just 10 percent of the 2017 forest loss occurred inside logging concessions.