CoForChange Project: Improving the characterization of tropical forests to improve management:

 

A Note for Policy Makers

Under the CoForChange project (http://www.coforchange.eu/fr/) a regional workshop was held in May 2012 in Brazzaville, which presented and discussed the project’s activities and results. CoForChange has now been completed and the project team is pleased to provide you with a policy brief prepared by the team, drawing on the results achieved.


The brief which is also available for download in English and French on the project website (http://www.coforchange.eu/fr/)is intended for all stakeholders in forest management in Central Africa and especially for policy makers. It calls for better use of existing knowledge, be it derived from management inventories, environmental maps or remotely sensed images to guide reflection on forest management.

 

The CoForChange project is administratively but not scientifically complete. There are several ongoing activities involving the use of results and extension of research efforts: thus, two new projects have been launched, CoForTips and DynAfFor (websites under construction, we will send you the links as soon as they are operational), which are pursuing the research efforts undertaken. You can find information in the latest issue of the CoForChange newsletter which can be downloaded here: http://www.coforchange.eu/fr/produits/lettres_d_information

 

Available in the policy brief:

 

Predicting the impacts of global change on biodiversity in Congo Basin forests 

♦ Floristic composition, functionning, history of disturbances : Central Africa’s forests are diverse

 

Diverse and productive forests on relatively rich soils: Celtis forests.

Diverse and low productivity forests on poor soils: Manilkara forests.

Low diversity and low productivity forests on medium rich soils: Gilbertiodendron forests

 

♦ These characteristics provide them with a resilience that can be assessed …

 

♦ … to inform management recommendations

 

Guiding decision-making on forest vocations at regional level 

Improving management rules, at the level of forest concessions

 

♦ Further research to be conducted

CoForChange is a European ERA- Net BiodivERsA project funded by the Agence Nationale de la recherche (France) and the Natural Environment Research Council (UK). For four and a half years, from 2009 to mid-2013, it brought together a multidisciplinary team of researchers and forestry engineers from public and private institutions in eight European and African countries, associated with an international institution and fourteen logging companies (list available at http://www.coforchange.eu). The aim was to explain and predict the possible fate of biodiversity in the Congo Basin’s tropical moist forests, and provide tools to support decision-making in order to improve forest management amid mounting climatic and anthropogenic pressure. It focused on an area of ​​about 20 million hectares covering South-Western CAR, South-Eastern Cameroon and northern part of the Republic of Congo, and relied on management inventory data collected by ​​ logging companies.

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