February 7, 2023

Mr Lutundula said at the press conference with Mr Blinken that Congo would keep its promise to protect the rainforests last year, but also stressed that the government needed to find ways to improve the economy of Congo, a country of 90 million people. that is one of the poorest in the world. It was exploited as a colony of Belgium for decades before being ruled by dictators.

“The challenge is to find a balance, a balance between the well-being of the Congolese people and also the need to ensure a framework, a development framework, an ecological framework,” said Mr Lutundula.

He also pointed to the history of foreign companies in his country, saying: “We know that there are some countries that have been exploiting the DRC’s resources for years and do not respect biodiversity at all.”

The rainforest of the Congo Basin stretches 1,500 miles across Central Africa. It acts as a major carbon sink and slows climate change by removing 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, Mr Lewis said.

See also  Several killed after UN peacekeepers open fire in eastern DR Congo