15 May 2013 - 17 May 2013
Kinshasa, DRC

Deforestation trends in the Congo Basin

Researchers from IIASA’s ESM program are presenting  results of the World Bank study “Deforestation trends in the Congo Basin: Reconciling economic growth and forest protection,” to local policymakers in the Congo Basin region.

Tropical Forest

Tropical Forest

This week, ESM researchers Aline Mosnier and Michael Obersteiner are participating in a dedicated conference in Kinshasa, DRC.  This conference aims to deepen policymakers’ understanding of the multiple drivers of deforestation in the Congo Basin, and to emphasize the role of sectors such as agriculture, energy, transport, and mining in shaping the future of the basin. The policy recommendations derived from the study will potentially help Congo Basin countries overcome some of the more severe trade-offs between growth and forest protection.

Deforestation and forest degradation have been historically very low in the Congo Basin. However, it has accelerated in recent years, and the Congo Basin forests may be at a turning point, heading toward higher deforestation and forest degradation rates. Indeed, there are signs that Congo Basin forests are under increasing pressure from a variety of sources, including mineral extraction, road development, agribusiness, and biofuels, in addition to subsistence agricultural expansion and charcoal collection.

The study was originally a two-year exercise led by the World Bank’s Africa Region Environment team with the participation of the key Congo Basin country stakeholders and support from multiple donors. It was implemented at the request of the COMIFAC (Regional Commission in Charge of Forestry in Central Africa) to strengthen the understanding of the deforestation dynamics in the Congo Basin across sectors and beyond national borders. It has been continuing in the framework of the REDD-PAC project.

The study was informed by spatial economic modeling (GLOBIOM model developed at ESM), complemented with sectoral analysis as well as interactive simulations and workshop discussions.  

For more on the study, see the published report and the scientific paper on the economic modeling part and the REDD-PAC website.

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Last edited: 23 May 2013

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