Coforchange CoForChange Project
Scientific activities will be carried out in the forests of the Sangha River interval. They will be organized into seven workpackages, associating various disciplines and competencies.
|Why ?||Where ?||What for ?||How ?||For Whom ?|
Forests of the Congo Basin form the second most important remaining block of tropical moist forest (TMFs) in the world. They shelter a high diversity of forest types, and an exceptional diversity of flora and fauna. They provide locally and globally important ecosystem services (carbon storage, regional climate regulation, water recycling), and livelihood to populations in poor countries.
They are facing increasing anthropogenic pressure (mining, timber logging, fuelwood exploitation, land conversion), and climate change; an ongoing drying trend has been observed over the last 30 years and is projected to continue in the future.
These changes will differentially influence species distributions or lead to extinctions, and thus modify TMF characteristics - composition, diversity and structure -, in turn affecting their functions and services.
Paleoecological data support that such changes have occurred in the past: climatic and anthropogenic disturbances have significantly influenced TMF characteristics in the region over the last 6000 years. Improving the understanding of these past changes is crucial for projecting forest changes in the future and developing adequate conservation and management strategies. This is the challenge of CoForChange project.
To implement the project, CoForChange has chosen the forests of the region so-called "Sangha River interval" (map). The area comprises 213 000 km2, of which about 100 000 km2 of forests have been inventoried for management purposes. It includes parts of Cameroon, Central African Republic and Republic of the Congo.
Tree communities in the area are representative of Congo Basin TMFs. Given their history, they may be the least resilient to global change, and decision-making tools are thus urgently needed to improve their conservation and management.
The work will rely on inventory data made available by forest national administrations and forest companies.
In order to know how, why and where tree species may survive a drying trend and an increase in resource use, the project will:
Activities are organised into seven workpackages (WP1-WP7), of which six are scientific.
By linking information on spatial and temporal variation of tree communities' composition, spatial and temporal variation of environmental factors, and species' functional traits, CoForChange will produce operational decision-making tools for African and European administrations, private logging companies, certification institutions and NGOs. Knowledge and results will also be disseminated to decision-makers through policy briefs, and to researchers and students through scientific publications and inclusion into training programs.
© Cirad 2009 - All rights reserved - Disclaimer stating