Central African countries to monitor Congo forests

Jul 26, 2012
A gorilla picks foliage to eat in a clearing on the slopes of Mount Mikeno in the Virunga National Park. Ten Central African countries have agreed to take part in a regional initiative to monitor the Congo Basin, one of the world's largest primary rainforests, the UN's food agency said.

Ten Central African countries have agreed to take part in a regional initiative to monitor the Congo Basin, one of the world's largest primary rainforests, the UN's food agency said Thursday.

"A new regional initiative will help 10 Central African countries to set up advanced national forest monitoring systems," the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) announced.

The 10 countries are Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the , Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda and Sao Tome and Principe, it said.

The 200 million hectares (494 million acres) or so of forests are second only to the in size, supporting the livelihoods of some 60 million people.

"The main threats to these forests include land-use change, unsustainable logging and mining," the FAO said.

The monitoring project would be managed in conjunction with the Central Africa Forests Commission (COMIFAC).

"The rates of forest cover change and the subsequent emissions from deforestation ... remain poorly understood partly due to the lack of up-to-date, accurate information on the current state of forests in the region," it said.

The gross deforestation annual rate in the Congo Basin was 0.13 percent between 1990 and 2000, but it doubled in the period of 2000-2005, COMIFAC data showed.

The monitoring system was crucial to improving the protection of forests and sustainable management, the FAO's forestry expert Eduardo Rojas said.

The agency said it would provide to so the countries can estimate forest cover and track changes, as well as estimate the amount of their forests contain.

Explore further: Spain defends Canaries oil drilling plan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Forests take center stage at Copenhagen

Dec 17, 2009

As the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen approaches its conclusion, negotiations are focusing on the role of forests in mitigating climate change. The new 'Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest ...

UN protects 'wild heart' of Central Africa

Jul 02, 2012

A Central African protected area that straddles three countries and teems with gorillas, elephants, and chimpanzees has been named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Education, Science, and Cultural ...

Recommended for you

UN climate talks shuffle to a close in Bonn

8 hours ago

Concern was high at a perceived lack of urgency as UN climate negotiations shuffled towards a close in Bonn on Saturday with just 14 months left to finalise a new, global pact.

Study shows no lead pollution in oilsands region

Oct 24, 2014

New research from a world-renowned soil and water expert at the University of Alberta reveals that there's no atmospheric lead pollution in Alberta's oilsands region—a finding that contradicts current scientific ...

User comments : 0