Ten countries in the Congo Basin are united in a comprehensive program of forest protection. The rate of deforestation in this region of Africa was 0.13% between 1990 and 2000 and has doubled over the period 2000-2005.
A new project will be implemented in ten central African countries to improve forest monitoring systems and strengthen regional cooperation, announced Thursday, July 26 the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in a press release.
The ten countries that are part of the Congo Basin are Burundi, Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, and finally Chad. This vast forest project will be jointly managed by the Central Africa Forests Commission (COMIFAC) and FAO, in close collaboration with the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
The Congo Basin forests cover about 200 million hectares The Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF), launched by the governments of Norway and the UK, is funding this initiative through the African Development Bank (AfDB), in the amount of 6.1 million euros. The Congo Basin forests cover about 200 million hectares and are, after the Amazon rainforest, one of the largest primary rainforests. They provide the livelihood of some 60 million people.
According to data from COMIFAC, the gross annual rate of deforestation in the Congo Basin was 0.13% between 1990 and 2000, but has doubled over the period 2000-2005. “The Brazilian experience shows that a national system of forest monitoring is the key element to set the stage for substantial international support for forest protection and promotion of sustainable management,” says Eduardo Rojas, Assistant Director-General of FAO’s Forestry Department, quoted by the press.
FAO will provide technical assistance to countries in the field of remote sensing technologies. It will also help to evaluate the amount of carbon stored in forests of the region.