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: Underwater elephants

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

Big data confirms climate extremes are here to stay

2 hours ago

In a paper published online today in the journal Scientific Reports, published by Nature, Northeastern researchers Evan Kodra and Auroop Ganguly found that while global temperature is indeed increasing, so too is the variab ...

Peru's carbon quantified: Economic and conservation boon

3 hours ago

Today scientists unveiled the first high-resolution map of the carbon stocks stored on land throughout the entire country of PerĂº. The new and improved methodology used to make the map marks a sea change ...

How might climate change affect our food supply?

3 hours ago

It's no easy question to answer, but prudence demands that we try. Thus, Microsoft and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have teamed up to tackle "food resilience," one of several themes ...

Groundwater is safe in potential N.Y. fracking area

4 hours ago

Two Cornell hydrologists have completed a thorough groundwater examination of drinking water in a potential hydraulic fracturing area in New York's Southern Tier. They determined that drinking water in potable ...

User comments : 0