Environment & Climate ChangeNews

Researchers Set Up Database For Analysing Tropical Forests

The International Centre for Cooperation in Agronomic Research and Development, popularly known by its French acronym, CIRAD, and the Institute for Research and Development (IRD) have established a database for the analysis of humid tropical forests and their stock of carbon. The database is called Congo Basin Forests (COFOR).

The database contains an inventory of 100,000 hectares of dense forests in Central Africa and involves the sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere as concerns organic material (wood, leaves, plant litter etc) of the vegetation through the process of photosynthesis. 

It is this stock of forestry carbon that the researchers have estimated at the level of the forestry basin of Central Africa.

This database also contains information from an inventory of 100,000 hectares of dense Central African forests, equivalent to 12 million trees identified and measured in five Central African countries. Viewed from the angle of human/year, this is equivalent to 1,000 years of data collection.

According to scientists, the database constitutes an exceptional source of data which can serve as a reference to other analyses, notably scientific, on the humid tropical forests and the stocks of biomass at the global level. 

It has already permitted the calibration of models aimed at mapping the biomass in the territorial dense forests of Central Africa.

It can also be utilised by the countries of the region which would want to ameliorate their estimation of CO2 emissions associated with forestry perturbations within the context of projects emanating from the international Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).

“The compilation of the data inventory on the large surfaces permits us to have a more exhaustive representation of the diversity of forests, and also to ignore the local specificities of forests on this or that sample site in order to draw more general conclusions.

“The data acquired and stocked in the database can permit the countries to realise syntheses which are more precise and transparent, of the evolution of their resources, ” Pierre Ploton, the principal author of the study published in Nature-Scientific Revue, said.

The researcher also attests that the data could permit the study of the influence of climate (annual rainfall, length of seasons, annual temperature) on the quantities of carbon that the forests store in the region and also permit the putting in place and evaluation of the stock cards of carbon in the entire forestry basin.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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