The Congo Basin and its forest ecosystems
The forest ecosystems of the Congo basin span across much of Central Africa, from the Atlantic Ocean's Gulf of Guinea to the mountains of the Albertine Rift in the east. With over 180 million hectares they constitute the second largest area of contiguous moist tropical forest left in the world and represent approximately one fifth of the world's remaining closed canopy tropical forest.
The Congo basin forests do not only play a critical role for global biodiversity conservation (they are home to three of the world's four species of great apes), they also provide vital regional and global ecological services as carbon sink and catchment basin.
Even though much of the forest areas currenty remain intact, the regional forest ecosystems continue to be at risk from a complex set of important threats - such as unsustainable timer and mineral extraction, bush meat trade and weak governance - that call for concerted global action.
In this context, we want to cite a prime example of CBFP's collaboration efforts: "The Congo Basin Forests 2006" is the first comprehensive report on the state of the Congo basin forests, published in collaboration with COMIFAC.
The Situation Of Forests In the Amazonian, Congo And South-East Asia Basins
FAO and OIBT stresses in this report that the potential value of various goods and services provided by tropical rainforests is much greater than the benefits likely to be derived from almost any other land use. “Following studies carried out recently, for example, the value of services rendered by tropical forests (such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation and soil and water protection) may reach many thousands of dollars per hectare”, said Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Sub-Director General of FAO Forest Department and Emmanuel Ze Meka, OIBT Executive Director, in the present report launched at the Summit.
In fact, the three tropical forest basins heads of states gather in Brazzaville from 29 May to 3 June in order to establish new ways of strengthening technical cooperation in forestry. The “Three Tropical Forest Basins Summit” gathered governments and partners who care for these crucial matters in order to improve on the management and the conservation of important forest resources found in the Amazonian Basin, the Congo Basin and in South-East Asia.
Please download the The Situation Of Forests In the Amazonian, Congo And South-East Asia Basins
The State of the Forests in the Congo Basin 2008
This report which comes after the "State of the Forests 2006" gives more insight into the forest ecosystems of the Congo Basin and highlights the challenges to be faced in guaranteeing a sustainable and equitable management of these forests. The report equally takes a more targeted approach as it portrays intervention strategies as well as forest monitoring from the social, economic and ecological perspectives.
The "State of the Forests 2008" is a progress report on the condition of the Central African rainforests and covers all the Central Africa countries that are members of the CBFP namely: Gabon, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Central African Republic. The report is divided into three major sections: national and regional syntheses; cross-cutting chapters outlining the environmental services provided by the forests; and chapters providing detailed information on the forest landscapes.
How to Cite this Document: Congo Basin Forests -State of Forests 2008. Eds : de Wasseige C., Devers D., from Marcken P., Eba'a Atyi R., Nasi R. and Mayaux Ph., 426 pages, ISBN 978-92-79-132 11-7, doi: 10.2788 /32456, Office des publications de l'Union européenne, 2009.
Download the chapters on OFAC's website
State of the Congo Basin Forests 2006
As stated in the preface of the report, little objective information on the condition and extent of this vast natural resouce which are the Congo Basin forest ecosystems, was available to decision-makers and stakeholders, making a concerted international plan of action, in the framework of the CBFP, difficult to establish. The 2006 State of Forests aimed to present the "base-line"state, a starting point from which subsequent reports could be compared. As such it was a working document that serves as both a monitoring tool and a coordination instrument for the CBFP.
Download State of the Forests 2006
(Due to the large file size of the document - 11MB- please save the document to your local computer to view)
The Forests of the Congo Basin: A Preliminary Assessment 2005
This report on the state of forest in the Congo Basin (2005) is a preliminary assessment. Its intended purpose is to highlight the main challenges and emerging threats to the sustainable management of the Congo basin rainforests. The document is available for download: State of the Forest Report (2005) (Size 2.0 MB).