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Energy

© Christian Mpassi/WWF-RDC

Through the development of its energy and infrastructure pillar, WWF aims to ensure that convenient energy development and supply mechanisms are well identified at the national level and around key conservation landscapes. The objective is to positively impact the urban and rural energy supply system and facilitate more livelihood alternatives for communities living around key conservation areas.

© Christian Mpassi/WWF-RDC

WWF's approach is to reduce forest degradation and carbon emissions from deforestation while increasing access to alternative sources of energy – we see this as one of the key drivers influencing community livelihoods, economic welfare and landscape resilience.

Wood (mainly for cooking) is currently the DRC’s largest source of energy, so WWF is working to decrease the pressure on forests through a sustainable production of wood energy.

The DRC is blessed with huge renewable energy potential but our limited access to energy and related services in this country is alarming. This seriously impairs the health, education and income-generating potential of millions of people and threatens the integrity of ecosystems as 95% of our current energy comes from biomass – fuelwood and charcoal. Such trends, coupled with the effect of a growing population, will limit the achievement of sustainable development goals in the long run.

The development of infrastructure to facilitate trade and economic activities, as well as to meet the country’s power, transportation, water and sanitation needs, is central to DRC’s economic growth agenda. It also has the potential to result in the degradation of forests by opening access to remote areas and facilitating the illegal harvesting of resources, including timber, non-forest products and wildlife.

To contribute to this goal, WWF will:
• Support the adoption of effective strategies for a transition towards a low carbon economy based on a renewable energy mix to meet 2030 needs
• Influence the compliance of the energy and large scale infrastructure sector with best practices and international environmental and social standards, together with civil society partners and international institutions through a broad, active multi-actor operational platform
• Facilitate access to sustainable alternative energy (e.g. solar, biogas etc.) for 330 communities in priority landscapes
• Develop financial mechanisms to improve watershed management and conserve upstream ecosystem services
• Advocate adoption of a green economy that prevents loss of key conservation assets along with a national Protected Areas network  strategy and provincial land use planning

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