Sunday, June 10, 2007

African deforestation

The rainforest of the Congo Basin in Central Africa is the second largest in the world. It covers millions of square kilometers and spans 6 different countries (including Gabon where I spent 2 years). As with other tropical rain forests this region is home to substantial biodiversity. Here in the US we hear a great deal about deforestation in the Amazon, less is heard about the African rainforests.

The most recent issue of the journal Science contains a brief report documenting the extent of deforestation and increases in commercial logging in the Congo Basin. The information was acquired by analyzing almost 30 years of satellite data for changes in forest cover and the appearance of new logging roads. The objectives of the report were to highlight the lack of good data on the extent of deforestation in the Congo Basin, present the data acquired from the available satellite data and demonstrate the value of the satellite data as a tool to assess changes in land use and document the extent of logging.

*added on edit: Here is some more information about the article and here is the figure from the paper showing the extent of the deforestation. Note how much of the area still has >75% forest cover.

5 comments:

John F said...

Good information. Will you be doing more posts on ecological topics?

John F said...

Well, not that most of your other posts are not ecological in nature... :-/ I guess I'm talking about more general sorts of topics -- deforestation, species loss, causes, etc.

amstar said...

I do plan to write more posts on general topics like this one. However, the bulk of the posts will have a microbial focus.

John F said...

Very good. I'll try to get back here to look in on the micro-level more often!

viagra online said...

Excellent information about ecologial topics and I am so worried about the deforestation in all the world , we should be careful because It is a big problem.