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State of Central Africa’s forests: New report puts Congo Basin forest ecosystems in perspective

The 2021 report on the State of Central Africa's Forests launched during the 19th Meeting of the Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership
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Congo river. Photo by Ahtziri Gonzalez/CIFOR

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The report on the State of Forests in Central Africa was published by the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) through its technical unit, the Central African Forest Observatory (OFAC). It was produced with the support of the European Union through the project Reinforcement and institutionalization of the Central African Forest Observatory (RIOFAC) and is today one of OFAC’s flagship publications. It has become over the years a reference document at regional and international level, for all those interested in the management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa, their role in the balance of the planet and the issues that guide their coming.

“EdF 2021 saw the involvement of 152 authors mobilized among the experts in forest issues in the Congo Basin. These authors come from research institutions, technical and financial partners, international organizations, civil society organizations, development actors, state actors and independent researchers,” says Richard Eba’a, CIFOR’s Coordinator in Central Africa, and main editor of said report.

“This report is in fact a directory of tangible data on the forests of the Congo Basin, and aims to help decision-makers in Central African States in decision-making relating to forest management,” specifies Hervé Martial Maidou, Executive Secretary of COMIFAC. Philippe Mayaux of the European Union added that “the report on the state of the forests and the OFAC are unique creations which are the pride of Central Africa”.

This year, the State of the Forests of Central Africa report is the seventh in a series published since 2005. Through thirteen chapters, it puts the forest ecosystems of Central Africa and their management environment into perspective.

The new 2021 report has four parts:

  • The first part draws up an effective assessment of the state of the resource which is increasingly recognized worldwide as being an essential forest area for carbon sequestration and the conservation of biological diversity;
  • The second part presents the Congo Basin forests in major international debates;
  • The third part through two chapters, develops the emerging themes for the forests of Central Africa;
  • Finally, the fourth part deals with the issues and challenges for the forests of the Congo Basin; with a focus on land use planning, landscape restoration, and the rights of local and indigenous populations.

With regard to the themes developed in this report, it should be said that it identifies the main challenges that must be met in order to achieve sustainable management of forest ecosystems in the Congo Basin, so that it best contributes to the improvement the livelihoods and living environment of local populations and indigenous peoples.

The State of Forests in Central Africa was also presented at an international scientific conference held in Yangambi on 5-7 September 2022.

Download the report here: https://www.observatoire-comifac.net/publications/edf

The book of abstracts is also available in French and English.

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