Untitled Document


  • Objective
  • History
  • Organization
  • CARPE Partners
  • CBFP &
  • Where CARPE Works

Development Objective

USAID’s Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) Goal:

Central Africa’s transition to climate-resilient, low-emissions development accelerated through sustainable management of biodiverse forests.

The development objective to achieve this goal:

The ecological integrity of the humid forest ecosystem of the Congo Basin maintained.

CARPE is a long-term initiative by of the United States Government to promote sustainable forest management, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation in the Congo Basin through increased local, national, and regional natural resource management capacity. In the current phase of the program, CARPE III (2012-2020), the focus is on institutionalizing the conservation monitoring and management approaches developed in the prior phase, CARPE II, through individual, organizational, and systems capacity building to ensure that the ecological integrity of the humid forest ecosystem of the Congo Basin is sustained.

The objective and rationale for CARPE III are more fully described in the Regional Development Cooperation Strategy 2012-2020.


The CARPE program was first authorized by the U.S. Government (USG) in 1995 and represents a multi-year, long-term regional initiative divided into three strategic phases. CARPE is currently in its third phase, which will run through 2020.


CARPE was designed as a long-term, regional initiative. The program operates as a stand-alone Development Objective in the environment sector of the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Bureau for Africa and is being managed out of USAID’s office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. CARPE is the principal mechanism through which the U.S. Government promotes the objectives of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP).

In order to execute effectively this comprehensive program, USAID directly funds multiple partner organizations. These implementing partners include both international conservation organizations and "cross-cutting" service providers.

The majority of CARPE funds are allocated to activities within CBFP-identified landscapes, administered by multiple international conservation organizations functioning as consortia. These consortia are led by a single member and include other international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local NGOs, government agencies, international research institutions to implement the landscape programs.

In addition to the landscape programs, CARPE also supports broader cross-cutting activities throughout the Congo Basin. Cross-cutting activities are designed to bring specific expertise to the Congo Basin and are concerned with a wide variety of tasks, including: forestry and natural resources monitoring, improved natural resources governance, policy development, and institutional capacity building.

CARPE Administration

Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE)
Mailing Address:
Mobil Building
Avenue Isiro, 198
Kinshasa, DRC

For all inquiries, please contact:

Website: carpe.umd.edu

CARPE Partners

African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)

  • Hugues Adeloui Akpona
    Chief of Party, CAFEC
    Phone: +243 (0) 82 055 2590/+243 (0) 99 401 67 49

  • Charly FACHEUX
    Vice President, Conservation Projects
    AWF Conservation Centre
    Ngong Road, Karen
    P.O. Box 310, 00502
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Phone: +254 20 276 5000 / +254 (0) 71 674 7697
    Fax: +254 20 276 50 30

The Aspinall Foundation

  • Amos COURAGE
    Overseas Project Director
    The Aspinall Foundation
    Port Lympne Wild Animal Park
    Aldington Road, Lympne, Hythe
    Kent CT21 4PD, UK
    Phone: +44 1303 234172
    Email: amosc@aspinallfoundation.org

International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP)

  • Anna Behm MASOZERA
    International Gorilla Conservation Programme
    Regional Office: 5th Floor, Tele10 Building, Gishushu
    BP 931, Kigali, Rwanda
    Phone: +250 782 332 280
    Email: abehm@igcp.org

The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI)

    Project Officer
    The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI)
    99, Avenue des Orchidées
    Goma, Nord Kivu, DRC
    Cell: +243 (0) 823 435 459
    Email: marc_jgi@yahoo.fr
    Skype: marc.fourrier

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)


Observatoire Satellital des Forêts d'Afrique Centrale (OSFAC)

  • Dr. Landing MANE
    14, Sergent Moke - Q/ Socimat
    Concession Safricas - Ngaliema / Kinshasa
    Phone: +243 99 278 3035

Pact International

PACT logo

Union des Associations de Conservation des Gorilles pour le Développement Communautaire a l’Est de la RDC (UGADEC)

  • Alexis Kalinda SALUMU
    Executive Secretary
    Union des Associations de Conservation des Gorilles pour le Développement Communautaire a l’Est de la RDC
    Phone: +243 816 220 626 / +243 971 815 959
    Email: ugadecconservation@yahoo.fr

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

  • CARPE Management Team
    198 Isiro Ave., Kinshasa, Gombe, DRC
    Phone: +1 243 81 555 4430
    Email: CARPEManagement@usaid.gov

United States Forest Service - International Programs

  • Richard PATON
    Central Africa and Middle East Regional Advisor
    US Forest Service International Programs
    One Thomas Circle, Suite 400
    Washington, DC 20005 USA
    Phone: (202) 294-0722

  • Alexandra NEIDERMEIER
    Central Africa and Middle East Program
    US Forest Service International Programs
    One Thomas Circle, Suite 400
    Washington, DC 20005 USA
    Phone: (202) 644-4647

United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

  • Dirck Byler
    Chief, Africa Programs
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service International Affairs
    5275 Leesburg Pike
    Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 USA
    Phone: +1 703 358 2337
    Cell: +1 703 485 5227

University of Maryland

  • Matt HANSEN
    Principal Investigator
    Department of Geographical Sciences
    2181 LeFrak Hall
    College Park, MD 20742 USA
    Phone: (301) 405-9714
    Fax: (301) 314-9299

  • Alice ALTSTATT
    Project Manager
    Department of Geographical Sciences
    4321 Hartwick Rd., Suite 410
    College Park, MD 20740 USA
    Phone: (301) 405-6170

Wildlife Conservation Global - Okapi Conservation Project

  • John LUKAS
    President, Wildlife Conservation Global 1615 Riverside Ave.
    Jacksonville FL 32204
    Phone: (904) 860-4686

  • Rosmarie RUF
    Director, Okapi Conservation Project Epulu Phone: +88 2164 3338535

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

  • Alastair MCNEILAGE
    Chief of Party, CAFEC
    Phone: (+243)(0)99 657 4558

    Program Manager, Africa Program
    Wildlife Conservation Society
    2300 Southern Blvd
    Bronx, NY 10460-1099 USA
    Phone: (718) 741-1451
    Fax: (718) 364-4275

World Resources Institute (WRI)

  • Matthew STEIL
    Program Manager/Central Africa Forest
    10 G St, NE Suite 800
    Washington, DC 20002 USA
    Phone: (202) 729 7762

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

  • Jordan KIMBALL
    Chief of Party, CAFEC
    Phone: +1 202 495-4359 / +243 97 262 1620

    Director, Congo Basin
    1250 24th St. NW, 6th Fl
    Washington, DC 20037 USA
    Phone: +1 202 495-4655 / +1 202 280-4034
    Cell DRC: +243 82 039 3709

Zoological Society of Milwaukee

  • Gay Edwards Reinartz
    Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM)
    10005 W. Blue Mound Road
    Milwaukee, WI 53226 USA
    Phone: +81 508 0026 or +1 414 276 0339
    Email: gayr@zoosociety.org

Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP)

The Congo Basin Forest Partnership is an association of over 70 governments, institutions, organizations and private sector partners working to coordinate efforts to sustain the forest resources of the Congo Basin.

The CBFP was launched as a multi-stakeholder partnership at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. The partnership aims to enhance natural resource management and improve the standard of living in the Congo Basin. The CBFP recognizes the Central Africa Forest Commission (COMIFAC) as the central policy and decision-making body for conservation and management of Central African forests.

The CBFP was initially facilitated by the U.S. from 2003-2004, by France from 2005-2007, by Germany from 2008-2010 and by Canada from 2010-12. The U.S. assumed facilitation again, for the period 2013-15. Members of the partnership meet biannually to coordinate priority activities, to propose action on emerging issues and to share information with partners and networks active in the region.

For more information and the latest CBFP developments, please visit the CBFP website at: http://www.pfbc-cbfp.org/

Observatoire Satellital des Forêts d'Afrique Centrale (OSFAC)

OSFAC was started following a 2000 meeting in Libreville that brought together representatives of forestry and mapping agencies from across Central Africa. At the meeting, participants recognized the important role satellite data and products play in the efficient management of natural resources, but acknowledged there were many constraints to using satellite data in the Congo Basin. Participants proposed creating OSFAC as a regional forum to address these obstacles, which included: difficulties associated with data acquisition, a lack of permanent training institutions and limited capacity to apply satellite information.

OSFAC's primary objective is to establish itself as an independent organization dedicated to using satellite data to detect and manage environmental change in the Congo Basin. It aims to contribute to COMIFAC's Convergence Plan by producing reliable and useful land cover products for managers and decision-makers.

For more information on OSFAC please visit the OSFAC website at:http://www.osfac.net/index.php?lang=en

Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC)

The Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) is the primary authority for decision-making and coordination of sub-regional actions and initiatives pertaining to the conservation and sustainable management of the Congo Basin forests.

COMIFAC is made up of the forestry ministers of participating Central African countries and is under the head of a secretariat. The legal basis for the Commission was laid in 1999 when the heads of state of the Republic of the Congo, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome/Principe, Gabon, and the Central African Republic convened and produced the Yaoundé Declaration. The Declaration recognizes the protection of the Congo Basin's ecosystems as an integral component of the development process and reaffirms the signatories' commitments to work cooperatively to promote the sustainable use of the Congo ecosystem in accordance with their social, economic, and environmental agendas.

Since its formation, COMIFAC has met regularly to discuss its agenda and develop an official Plan de Convergence, an action plan that identifies COMIFAC priorities. Based on COMIFAC's Plan de Convergence (2003-2010), the CBFP identifies its major themes as: harmonization of forest policy and taxation, inventory of flora and fauna, ecosystem management, conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of natural resources, capacity building and community participation, research, and innovative financing mechanisms.

Since 1999, the signatories of the Yaoundé Declaration have also worked to overcome variances and formalize their commitments in a treaty. To this end, in February of 2005 a landmark conference was held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. At this conference an official treaty was signed by the heads of state of the Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Sao Tome/Principe, Burundi, and Rwanda. The signatories to the Treaty do not correlate directly with the members of CBFP, but the Treaty demonstrates the active nature of the forestry dialogue in Central Africa of which both the CBFP and COMIFAC play an integral part.

For more information on COMIFAC, please visit the COMIFAC website at: http://www.comifac.org/

Congo Basin

The CARPE program is directly concerned with the sustainable management of the Congo Basin forest ecosystem.

The Congo Basin forest spans across much of Central Africa and is the second largest area of contiguous moist tropical forest left in the world. It covers almost two million square kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean's Gulf of Guinea to the mountains of the Albertine Rift. Eighty percent of the forests range in altitude from 300 to 1,000 m and form the catchment basin of the Congo River.

Representing approximately one-fifth of the world's remaining closed canopy tropical forest, the Congo Basin forest is of local, regional, and global environmental significance. The forest serves as critical habitat for biodiversity (home to three of the world's four species of great apes) and provides vital regional and global ecological services. The forest also represents a rich resource in terms of food, shelter, and livelihoods for the over 80 million inhabitants of the region. The sustainable management of these resources is seen as critical to the economic development of the region.

The Congo Basin forests, which play a major economic role and ecological role as a carbon sink and a catchment basin, are at risk from a complex set of threats. While much of the forest currently remains intact, many factors contribute to its continual loss. These factors include proximate threats from the persistent unsustainable extraction of timber and mineral resources, agricultural expansion, an active bushmeat trade, poor management, and increasing pressure due to population growth. In addition, the forests of the Congo Basin are vulnerable to broader political-economic threats related to persistent regional poverty, weak governance, and civil unrest.


CARPE is a regional program because the Congo Basin forest is not contained within a single country, but instead represents a contiguous area of tropical forest that acts as the catchment basin for the Congo River.

The forest spans nine countries in Central Africa and sustainable management of the forests in Congo Basin involves engaging and supporting cooperation and collaboration between these countries.

During CARPE I and CARPE II, CARPE worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Sao Tome & Principe. The governments of these countries have established their willingness to create a meaningful regional forest dialogue by becoming members of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC). Under CARPE III, USAID’s landscape-level activities are focused on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo. Regional and cross-cutting activities target the six principal forested countries of Central Africa: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo; and continue to support the coordination of the Greater Virunga Landscape of DRC, Uganda, and Rwanda.


The majority of CARPE funds are allocated to support activities in designated landscapes. By implementing a landscape approach to natural resource management, CARPE works to assure that biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation efforts are prioritized throughout the high-value forested areas.

Under CARPE III, USAID is working in eight key landscapes of biological significance in two countries. The eight landscapes form the pillar of CARPE's regional conservation strategy and cover an area of 1,427,230 km2.

The landscapes targeted by CARPE were identified as appropriate conservation targets at a 2000 Conservation Priority-Setting Workshop for Central Africa. The workshop was organized by the World Wildlife Fund and brought together over 160 biologists and socio-economic experts to carry out a region-wide evaluation. Twelve landscapes were recognized as priority areas for conservation based on their relative taxonomic importance, their overall integrity, and the resilience of ecological processes represented. In accordance with principles of integrated conservation initiatives and broad-scale land management, each landscape is divided into three different categories of management areas, including: protected areas, community-based natural resource management zones, and extractive zones. Within these zones, CARPE and its partners are working to implement sustainable natural resource management practices at the local scale.

CARPE base map

Cross-Cutting Programs

USAID has been is proactive in integrating other U.S. government agencies into its CARPE program, with each agency contributing its experience and expertise to meet the program goals:

  • U.S. Forest Service – forest management; landscape and land use planning; institutional capacity building for sustainable forest management at the regional and national levels [Fact Sheets]
  • NASA, U.S. Geological Survey – remote sensing technology; use of geographic information systems to monitor forest cover changes in biologically significant landscapes and surveys of keystone species populations and distribution
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – capacity building for enforcement of forest and wildlife laws; surveys of keystone species; reduction of illegal hunting [Fact Sheets]
  • U.S. Department of State – The Bureau of Oceans and International and Scientific Affairs enhances diplomatic relations with and among Congo Basin Forest Partnership countries to promote USG global climate change and biodiversity goals
  • U.S. Department of Treasury – The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility strengthens national REDD+ readiness and planning; Climate Investment Fund’s Forest Investment Program helps design and implement REDD+ pilot activities in target landscapes