4 September 2012 | EN | FR
The project will provide training in sustainable forest management
World Resources Institute
[BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI] Ten central African countries have come together to protect the Congo Basin rainforest — the world's second largest rainforest — from severe deforestation, through implementing improved national forest monitoring systems and boosting regional cooperation.
The 18-month project, launched on 26 July, is managed by the Central Africa Forests Commission (COMIFAC) and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in collaboration with Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
"Forest monitoring will be [carried out through] advanced observation mechanisms using satellite images," Felix Ngendabanyikwa, COMIFAC's National Coordinator in Burundi, told SciDev.Net. "With this technique, we can see trees being cut down or fire devastating a forest, and can estimate the extent of forest degraded."
The €6.1 million (US$7.7 million) project will use modern forest monitoring techniques instead of more traditional and "inefficient techniques", such as routinely driving through forests to make observations, Ngendabanyikwa explained. It will, however, combine innovative remote sensing with direct physical observations, to ensure "correlation" between data collected on degraded forests.
The project will build COMIFAC member states' technical and legislative capacities for improved governance and sustainable forest management.
"Each state will set up a national committee comprising various stakeholders to develop a National Strategy [on] Reducing Emissions and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD)," said Ngendabanyikwa. These "will define forests monitoring mechanisms," with COMIFAC's support.
COMIFAC covers Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe. It was established in 2005, to act as a regional forum for the conservation and sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa.
The project will train related national institutions in sustainable land and forest management, good forest governance, the rational utilisation of forest resources, and monitoring deforestation rates.
It will also mobilise local populations to participate in monitoring forest degradation, in collaboration with local authorities.
"We will reach harmonised surveillance policies on forest monitoring in the region, and, thanks to the advanced technology, we will be able to develop early warning mechanisms to avert natural catastrophes," said Ndabirorere.
With about 200 million hectares, the Congo Basin rainforests have come under threat from "intense activities" like the industrial exploitation of wood, mining and hunting.
Savin Sabumukiza, a forestry and biodiversity expert from Burundi and the president of the Conference on Central African Moist Forest Ecosystems (CEFDHAC) said the project has the funds and skilled experts to enable it to succeed, but may struggle to harmonise national needs with regional concerns.
"COMIFAC countries do not have the same forest resources and should, therefore, prepare their national projects well, to take advantage of the regional project," he said.
This article has been produced by our Sub-Saharan Africa desk.
Dr Shankar Chatterjee ( India )
10 September 2012
For survival of human beings protection of forest is sine qua non. Deforestation has been taking place as human beings are becoming greedy. With the deforestation, flora & fauna are in danger. To protect forests I suggest joint forest management committee by involving forest guard (Government employee) and local persons residing within the vicinity of forests may be formed. Such step has been proved a great success in India. I also suggest to create more and more forest areas by planting saplings etc., as well as creation of water-bodies. And this may be done by initiating wage employment programme like MGNREGS in India. Without people participation nothing will be successful. By visiting in some African countries vis-a-vis interacting many African people I firmly believe they are simple in nature but simultaneously require lot of orientation to change their mind set. Killings of people in the name of ethnics clash are observed in many times in many African countries. To protect as well as to develop forest all around efforts are required, isolated measure will never be successful.
erich ( United States of America )
11 September 2012
How Fungi May Create the Amazon's Clouds
Fungal Potassium Aerosols.
So many new players are being found in the Tropospheric Opera.
Potassium, as cloud nucleation catalyst, another ecological service delivered by the fungal kingdom.
The Rainmaker of all rain makers. Now we know what March conspires, to call April showers, that bring the May flowers.
"the amount of potassium particles released from microscopic fungi in the lab was indeed enough to account for the concentration of potassium they observed" and then they go on to say, for confirmation, lacking a demonstration, to wrap trees in plastic bags?, Certainly I hope Paul Stamits, Dr. "Mike" Amaranthus and Mycologist community will be chiming in here.
They found three kinds of organic nano-sized aerosol particles, with potassium at the core in all of them, looking for carbon, oxygen and nitrogen contents of the organic materials and found 20 percent potassium playing an important role in the oxidation and condensation of the organic gas molecules, in which various chemical phases such as mist or cloud liquid water and gel-like organic substances are involved.
This carbon crucible of catalyst, structure and life orchestrations of beckoning the rain, such a beautiful world.
Oh to be a fly on the wall as Dr. Lovelock reads this work, or, Dr. Hansen at NASA. as the implications for 100 GtC of afforestation are plugged into his climate forcing models.
Almost always in a Awe,
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