There’s a saying in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that refers to “Article 15,” a nonexistent paragraph of the country’s constitution during the Mobutu Sese Seko dictatorship in the 1970s. It stands for “figure it out yourself” and acknowledges the wide spread of corruption, implying that people cannot rely on the state to survive. Considered by the World Bank one of the poorest countries in the world based on GDP per capita, as well as being home to 60% of the Congo Basin, the DRC faces many challenges, one of them being the ever-increasing speed of deforestation. A visualization of tree cover loss by Global Forest Watch’s Forest Atlas shows that, in the DRC, forest is disappearing far away from main roads and urban conglomerations in the middle of the country. Tree cover loss in the Congo Basin. For Matthew Hansen, head of the Global Land Analysis Discovery (GLAD) laboratory at the University of Maryland (UMD), this loss is the alarming consequence of “Article 15.” “The DRC is a stateless place where there are no cheap food imports, no oil exports and little food aid,” Hansen told Mongabay. “Thousands of people are pushed into the forests to feed themselves. It is a horrible dynamic.” Although rates of deforestation and forest degradation here are considered moderate compared to those of the rainforests in Brazil or Indonesia, the trend is ongoing. Between 2015 and 2019, 6.37 million hectares (15.7 million acres) of tree cover was lost, with annual rates regularly surpassing…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer