Congo has the natural resources the world needs. Its forests count in the fight against global climate change and its mining sector helps satisfy our addiction to the latest high tech gadgets. Congo’s farmers could feed all of Africa’s population of over a billion people. The Inga hydroelectric site has the potential to light up the entire continent. These realities are redefining the country’s strategic place in a globalized world. Telling a different story about power and nature, Congo’s Environmental Paradox examines the dynamics of this huge country’s forest, mining, land, water and oil sectors in an integrated way. It connects the dots by emphasizing resource diversity, interlinkages and the complex nature of these sectors. Congo’s incredible natural wealth has the potential to contribute to development in this troubled central African country – but structural problems, cultural factors, poor governance and predation remain serious challenges. Clearly written, full of environmental facts and analyses, this volume is a must-read for anyone interested in development and the political economy of natural resource management in Africa.
An invaluable contribution – a truly remarkable synthesis of the pathways to Congolese economic improvement and the many roadblocks along the way. The succinct and sparkling summation of the key elements of the political economy is most useful. The author's capacity to convey a rich treasure chest of information and acute analytical skills make this a landmark work. – Crawford Young, University of Wisconsin