The Governments of the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have agreed to collaborate in the management of three exceptional Ramsar Sites as a “Transboundary Ramsar Site” on both banks of the Congo River. It is the second African Transboundary Ramsar Site and the largest yet established. It covers over 129,000 square kilometres of some of the world’s richest ecosystems, including over 60,000 km2 in each country.
The Congo Basin is one of the most important wetlands in Africa and one of the largest freshwater bodies in the world. Its peatlands act as a huge carbon sinks which plays an essential role in global climate regulation.
The “Complexe Transfrontalier Lac Télé - Grands Affluents - Lac Tumba” covers:
The creation of the Transboundary Ramsar Site expresses the two Governments’ intent to work together to preserve this exceptional area. This is in accordance with Article 5 of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, which states: “The Contracting Parties shall consult with each other about implementing obligations arising from the Convention especially in the case of a wetland extending over the territories of more than one Contracting Party or where a water system is shared by Contracting Parties. They shall at the same time endeavour to coordinate and support present and future policies and regulations concerning the conservation of wetlands and their flora and fauna.”
There are now 20 such arrangements in place, covering the management of 57 Ramsar Sites.
The Secretariat is extremely pleased to congratulate the governments of the Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo on their declaration and looks forward to learning more about their successful transboundary management and conservation activities.