Illegal logging in Central Africa results in the loss of millions of dollars in revenue each year, exacerbates poverty in forest-dependent communities, accelerates forest ecosystem degradation and undermines efforts to invest in long-term sustainable forest management. WRI, in collaboration with the International Conservation Union and the Inter-African Forest Industries Association, developed a set of legality standards that assesses if timber products produced and exported in Central Africa are legal. Those legality indicators are now being used by governments of forest-rich countries in Central Africa for establishing their own national standards, notably in view of satisfying European Union regulations which will soon require that all imported timber products come from legal sources. In addition, WRI works with those governments to map and monitor their logging concessions and protected areas.
Cette carte montre l'affectation des terres dans le domaine forestier national au Cameroun au 31 Mai 2006. Elle donne des informations sur les differentes categories d'occupation du sol dans les domaines forestiers permanent et non permanent sous toile de fond du couvert forestier.
Cette montre l'affectation des terres dans le domaine forestier au Cameroun en 30 Août 2004. Elle donne des informations sur les differentes categories d'occupation du sol dans les domaines forestiers permanent et non permanent, ainsi que des informations sur les infrastructures routières.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the world’s richest countries in terms of natural wealth, yet among the poorest in terms of GDP. Forests blanket 60% of the country.
Following decades of mismanagement and two civil wars, the DRC is taking steps to promote sustainable forest management. In 2005, with World Bank financing, the government launched a process to review and convert old logging titles into forest concessions aligned with the country’s new forest code.
Pierre Methot directed WRI's forestry work in Central Africa in 2009. He explains WRI’s role, “Acting as the international independent observer, alongside our Belgian partner AGRECO, we designed the review methodology, provided technical support, and ensured compliance with the law. We insisted the process and results be made publicly available and that local and indigenous populations be involved.”
Of 156 logging titles reviewed, only 65 were deemed legal for new concessions. The remaining titles – 12 million hectares of rainforest – were set for cancellation.
“Protecting hectares is important,” says Methot, “but more importantly, this process was transparent and involved multiple stakeholders – a first for the DRC. It sets the groundwork for an accountable approach to forest and natural resource management.”
See our current work on this topic: Congo Basin Forest Atalses
Forest loss and degradation are major contributors to global GHG emissions. Yet, the issue has not played a significant role in international efforts to combat climate change.
This is changing, explains Smita Nakhooda, a senior associate in WRI’s Institutions and Governance Program. “Several large-scale multinational initiatives have emerged to help developing countries reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. REDD is the shorthand for this objective, which will likely be part of any new global climate change agreement.”
Improving forest governance – the rules and practices that determine how decisions about forest resources are made – will be critical to the success of REDD efforts. How will governments balance the need to maintain forest cover and the need for other land uses? How will they ensure that the rights of forest dependent communities and indigenous peoples are respected?
WRI’s timely and sound analysis on forest governance has been pivotal in shaping new REDD initiatives at the UN and World Bank. “The battle against climate change cannot be won without protecting the world’s forests, and the communities that depend on them for their livelihoods,” says Nakhooda. “WRI is committed to ensuring REDD programs are as robust as possible.”
Cecelia Song, Kemen Austin, Andrew Leach, and other experts at WRI also contributed to this post.
Fires are flaring up once more on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Media reports in the region indicate that the resulting smog has already reached unhealthy levels over parts of Indonesia and Malaysia.
Brazil’s economy has been booming. During the past decade, it grew from the ninth to the sixth-largest in the world. While this growth has brought many socioeconomic benefits, it’s come with a downside: significant environmental impacts. Brazil has the highest rate of deforestation worldwide, while pollution threatens the country’s drinking water supply. Despite a decrease in national greenhouse gas emissions of late, agriculture emissions and energy demand are still rising.
The Forest Atlas is a dynamic tool that helps decision-makers in the region achieve sustainable management of forest resources through strengthened land use planning and monitoring.
In January 2013, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility approved USD $3.6M to fund Cameroon’s Readiness Preparation Proposal—a roadmap detailing how Cameroon will develop a national REDD+ strategy to help protect its forests. Cameroon, like many other REDD+ countries, now faces the challenge of delivering on commitments made in its Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP). Doing so will require significant efforts to address historical forest sector challenges, including weak governance. I recently participated in the National Dialogue on REDD+ Governance in Yaoundé, Cameroon, where these challenges were at the top of the agenda. The Dialogue, co-sponsored by Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme-Cameroon (BDCPC), Cameroon Ecology, the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection, and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), and WRI’s Governance of Forests Initiative (GFI), provided a forum for government and civil society members to talk frankly about strengthening governance as part of Cameroon’s REDD+ program.
Following record-breaking air pollution across Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, ministers from five Southeast Asian countries will meet in Kuala Lumpur this week for urgent talks on combating the haze.
New analysis of the patterns and causes of the fires in Sumatra that caused the haze highlights serious issues at the kickoff of this 15th meeting of the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution.
The new analysis from the World Resources Institute (WRI), which has been closely monitoring the fires since they began, highlights four key challenges that should help set the agenda for the Ministers of Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand.
1. First, pulpwood and oil palm concessions have a more significant role in the fires that we earlier thought.
WRI’s analysis shows that that the number of fire alerts per hectare, in other words their density, is three to four times higher within pulpwood and oil palm concession boundaries than outside those boundaries.