State of Country Report - BCN 1582

State of Country Report - BCN 1582 - Wolff 1 Stefan Wolff...

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Wolff 1 Stefan Wolff Nye Grant BCN 1582 - International Sustainable Development 1 August 2010 State of the Country - Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Zaire, is a large African state originally established in 1908 by Belgian colonists . From as early as 1,550 BC, there is archae- ological evidence of human activity, most concentrated along the Sanaga River (History) . As na- tional boundaries materialized, Congo was quickly realized as one of the largest states in Africa, with a total area of 2,344,858 square kilometers, approximately 905,354 square miles . Along with its impressive landmass, the Congo also has the advantage of a small coastline, 37 kilomet- ers on the Atlantic Ocean, proving an invaluable resource for the nation’s industry and trade (The World Fact Book) . The Democratic Republic of the Congo shares its borders with Angola, Bur- undi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, totaling in 10,730 km on borderline . The state, being rich in natural re- sources such as diamonds, copper, and cobalt ore, relies heavily on revenues gained from ex- ports . Over the past 125 years, the state has gone through much political, social and economical turmoil, being subject to three completely different forms of rule, decades of racial strife, and a crippled economy that never was able to recuperate . These, along with the first and second Congo wars, have left the Democratic Republic of the Congo an empty shell of what it once was, a pall of insecurity and gloom over the once regal region . The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the home to the greatest extent of tropical rain- forest in all of Africa, covering more than one-hundred million hectares, equating to nearly sixty percent of the country’s land area . These rainforest are home to more than 11,000 species of plants, 450 mammals, 1,200 birds, 300 reptiles, and 200 amphibians, which in many other coun- tries have been driven to extinction (Butler) . Much of DR Congo’s rainforest are protected as na- tional parks, in the hopes that the nation can fend off prospective lumber harvesting companies, as will as preserve the very fragile natural ecosystems that exist . DR Congo has had a long his- tory with national parks and environmental protection, being the first Africa nation to create a na- tion park in 1925, the Virunga National Park; since then, it has expanded its conservation areas to eight percent of the total land mass, and has announced that it plans to expand these protected areas to 10-15 percent (Butler) . DR Congo relied heavily on revenues generated from the foreign tourism sector, which existed primarily through the rain forests
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This note was uploaded on 10/18/2011 for the course BCN 1582 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at University of Florida.

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State of Country Report - BCN 1582 - Wolff 1 Stefan Wolff...

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