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Dossier on biodiversity projects in a fragile context

Biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of natural resources

The implementation of environmental and social standards is often a difficult task in protected area projects, especially in fragile contexts - for example in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Congo Basin is home to an enormous wealth of biodiversity. Its forests form the second largest tropical rainforest area in the world and are the habitat for a rich and diverse flora and fauna and especially for a large number of endangered animal species. As CO2 sinks, they are essential for climate protection and indispensable for basic needs of the local population such as food, clean breathing air and drinking water. At the same time, they are located in a conflict-prone crisis area characterised by a lack of state order and a volatile security situation.

Following an incident in the vicinity of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the eastern part of the DR Congo in August 2017, KfW received reports of incidents in the vicinity of the Salonga National Park in May 2018 through the Rainforest Foundation UK. This was followed by further reports in various media. Subsequently, there were also reports of potential human rights violations in other protected areas. In 2021, the human rights NGO Minority Rights Group informed KfW of alleged massive human rights violations incidents in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in 2019-2021.

KfW takes the complaints about human rights violations in nature reserves supported by KfW Development Bank, especially in the Congo Basin, very seriously. KfW despises all forms of violence and expresses its sympathy to all victims of violence and their relatives.