The Democratic Republic of the Congo


2 345 000 km2


72 000 000 (2012)


The DRC presents several types of climates because of its size and its position near the equator. In the equatorial regions there is a hot equatorial climate all over the year. In the Northeast and the Southeast there is a temperate mountain climate, with temperatures which fall according to the altitude. The Mediterranean climate dominates the Great Lakes region. The DRC has two main seasons: the rainy and the dry season.

Natural Resources:

The DRC hosts 80 million hectares of arable land, with a strong and continuous water system. It has a pastureland capable of supplying 40 million cattle. Tropical forests, which cover a 135 million hectares area, are an important biodiversity reserve. The country has also plenty of mines and various and rich mineral deposits. However, this natural capital remains exposed to vulnerability risks, due to climatic deterioration. Water resources as well show an exposure indicator of 32%, crops of 44%, forests of 24% and savannas of 32%.


Congolese agriculture contributes to 30.4% of GDP, employs 70% of the working population and provides for the survival of 90% of the population. Nevertheless, Congolese agriculture is exclusively slash-and-burn and depends on rainfall only, thus being heavily exposed to climate impacts. Crops are affected by rainfall deficits (shortenings in the rainy season) or by the increase in the average surface temperature. As a consequence, different social groups, both in cities and in the countryside, become more vulnerable.

Climate Vulnerabilities:

Although the climate is favourable to agriculture almost all over the country, this does not mean that the country is less vulnerable to climate change. Agriculture is one of the most affected sectors. Indeed, with seasonal droughts, there are serious disruptions of the agricultural calendar, with all the side effects that this could entail in a context where almost all the agriculture depends exclusively on rainfall. In addition, most of the seeds used by smallholders are of bad quality, which results in lower harvests and threats to food security. Five main climate risks threaten daily life in the DRC. These are: heavy rains, coastal erosion, floods, heat wave crises and seasonal droughts. These trends have caused many plagues, among which human lives losses, natural habitats destruction and serious disruptions of the agricultural calendar. Poor people in urban areas are the most exposed to these risks, with an exposure indicator higher than 70%. Traders and large farmers are less vulnerable with an exposure indicator lower than 50%.