The State of the World's Forests 2020 - FAO

This edition of SOFO examines the contributions of forests, and of the people who use and manage them, to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. It assesses progress to date in meeting global targets and goals relating to forest biodiversity and describes the effectiveness of policies, actions and approaches for conservation and sustainable development alike, illustrated by case studies of innovative practices and win-win solutions.

This volume does not aim to be a comprehensive treatise on forest biodiversity, but rather to provide an update on its current state and a summary of its importance for humanity. It is intended to complement The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, released by the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2019, last year’s Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).


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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 251 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 currently 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.


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