Congo Democratic Republic of the Environment - 2021


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Environment - current issues

poaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation (forests endangered by fires set to clean the land for agricultural purposes; forests also used as a source of fuel); soil erosion; mining (diamonds, gold, coltan - a mineral used in creating capacitors for electronic devices) causing environmental damage

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 37.62 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 2.02 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 61.24 megatons (2020 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 464.9 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 146.8 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 71.9 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

1.283 trillion cubic meters (2017 est.)


tropical; hot and humid in equatorial river basin; cooler and drier in southern highlands; cooler and wetter in eastern highlands; north of Equator - wet season (April to October), dry season (December to February); south of Equator - wet season (November to March), dry season (April to October)

Land use

agricultural land: 11.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 3.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 8% (2018 est.)

forest: 67.9% (2018 est.)

other: 20.7% (2018 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

forest revenues: 8.72% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 80


urban population: 46.2% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 4.33% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and trypanosomiasis-gambiense (African sleeping sickness)

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

note: on 7 February 2021, the Ministry of Health declared the 12th outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of the Congo; on 12 March 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Travel Health Notice recommending travelers avoid non-essential travel for an Ebola outbreak in the North Kivu (Kivu Nord) province in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; travelers to this area could be infected with Ebola if they come into contact with an infected person’s blood or other body fluids; travelers should seek medical care immediately if they develop fever, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising during or after travel

Food insecurity

widespread lack of access: due to persistent civil insecurity and COVID-19 restrictions - 27.3 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure in the February−July 2021 period, the highest level on record; this is due to the severe impact of movement restrictions related to the COVID‑19 pandemic which continue to limit cross‑border trade and access to markets, and the ongoing conflict in eastern provinces, which triggered population displacements and locally disrupt crop production, resulting in shortages of food supplies in some markets; the eruption, on 22 May 2021, of the Nyiragongo volcano, in North Kivu Province, caused the further displacement of about 415,000 people (2021)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 14,385,226 tons (2016 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 704,876 tons (2005 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 4.9% (2005 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Congo Democratic Republic of the on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Congo Democratic Republic of the 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Congo Democratic Republic of the 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.