|SPORE Bulletin of the CTA No. 01 - 1986 (CTA Spore, 1986, 16 p.)|
Some 96 % of the Congo's export earnings are from offshore oil, but the country is already preparing for the time when oil runs out.
Earlier this year, President Nguesso planted the ten millionth tree in a reforestation programme which will allow timber to replace oil as the Congo's chief export product in the future. Although 60 % of the country is covered with forest, some 40 % of the forests are not commercially usable because they are in swampy or mountainous regions. Around Brazzaville, the capital, there is hardly a tree left within a five kilometre radius of the town centre.
A specially developed eucalyptus hybrid has been chosen for the reforestation programme, and so far 22,230 acres (10,000 hectares) have been planted. Although eucalyptus plantations have been criticised in other countries because they dessicate the soil, Congolese experts feel that their advantages outweigh the disadvantages.