NATURE: C02 absorption in the tropical forests of Congo Basin compared to Amazonia


Despite the past stability of the African carbon sink, our most intensively monitored plots suggest a post-2010 increase in carbon losses, delayed compared to Amazonia, indicating asynchronous carbon sink saturation on the two continents. A statistical model including carbon dioxide, temperature, drought and forest dynamics accounts for the observed trends and indicates a long-term future decline in the African sink, whereas the Amazonian sink continues to weaken rapidly. Read more...



Tropical forests account for approximately one-third of Earth’s terrestrial gross primary productivity and one-half of Earth’s carbon stored in terrestrial vegetationThus, small biome-wide changes in tree growth and mortality can have global impacts, either buffering or exacerbating the increase in atmospheric CO2. Models, ground-based observations, airborne atmospheric CO2 measurements, inferences from remotely sensed data and synthetic approaches each suggest that, after accounting for land-use change, the remaining structurally intact tropical forests (that is, those not affected by direct anthropogenic impacts such as logging) are increasing in carbon stocks. This structurally intact tropical forest carbon sink is estimated at approximately 1.2 Pg C yr−1 over 1990–2007 using scaled inventory plot measurements. Yet, despite its relevance to policy, changes in this key carbon sink remain highly uncertain.



Globally, the terrestrial carbon sink is increasing. Between 1990 and 2017 the land surface sequestered about 30% of all anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. Rising CO2 concentrations are thought to have boosted photosynthesis more than rising air temperatures have enhanced respiration, resulting in an increasing global terrestrial carbon sinkYet, for Amazonia, recent results from repeated censuses of intact forest inventory plots show a progressive two-decade decline in sink strength primarily due to an increase in carbon losses from tree mortality. It is unclear if this simply reflects region-specific drought impacts, or potentially chronic pan-tropical impacts of either heat-related tree mortality, or results from internal forest dynamics as past increases in carbon gains leave the system. A more recent deceleration of the rate of increase in carbon gains from tree growth is also contributing to the declining Amazon sink. Again, it is not known whether this is a result of either pan-tropical saturation of CO2 fertilization, or rising air temperatures, or is simply a regional drought impact. To address these uncertainties, we (1) analyse an unprecedented long-term inventory dataset from Africa, (2) pool the new African and existing Amazonian records to investigate the putative environmental drivers of changes in the tropical forest carbon sink, and (3) project its likely future evolution.



We collected, compiled and analysed data from structurally intact old-growth forests from the African Tropical Rainforest Observation Network (217 plots) and other sources (27 plots) spanning the period 1 January 1968 to 31 December 2014 (Extended Data Fig. 1; Supplementary Table 1). In each plot (mean size, 1.1 ha), all trees ≥100 mm in stem diameter were identified, mapped and measured at least twice using standardized methods (135,625 trees monitored). Live biomass carbon stocks were estimated for each census date, with carbon gains and losses calculated for each interval (Extended Data Fig. 2).


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WWF: Rainforest deforestation more than doubled under cover of coronavirus -DW

Tropical rainforests shrank by 6,500 square kilometers in March — an area seven times the size of Berlin. Criminal groups are taking advantage of the pandemic and the unemployed are getting desperate, the WWF said.

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Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park Monthly update April 2020

"At a time when many countries are beginning their gradual deconfinement and when there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon of returning to normal life, I wanted to share with you some good news that also fills us with hope for the future of the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park."

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Resources and follow-up from the virtual FAO-EcoAgriculture Partners Roundtable

Last April 30th FAO and EcoAgriculture Partners organized a virtual Roundtable on Territorial Perspectives for Development, in which over 170 people participated.

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ATIBT -CBFP: Private Sector mobilized around the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany

ATIBT co-facilitated the mobilization of the private sector of the timber sector to participate in the first meeting of the private sector college of Congo Basin Forest Partnership with the new facilitator Dr Christian Ruck and his team German Facilitation.

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Development and institutionalization of a PAFC certification system for the Congo basin: opening of the second public consultation on Sustainable Forest Management Certification Standard, 23 May 2020 - 22 June 2020

This second public consultation will be open for a period of 30 days from tomorrow Saturday the 23rd of May 2020 and will be closed on Monday the 22nd of June 2020. The public consultation is open to all stakeholders of forest management in the Congo Basin interested in participating to the PAFC Congo Basin certification standards development process.

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Forest defenders on the COVID-19 frontline stand ready to assist the global EU response – Fern

These efforts go hand in hand with ensuring continued responsible management of natural resources and preventing unsustainably and illegally sourced forest commodities. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, forest-monitoring organisations Observatoire de la Gouvernance Forestière (OGF) and Réseau des observateurs indépendants des ressources naturelles (RENOI) are set to carry out COVID awareness-raising in at-risk forest areas, and will also assess COVID’s impact on forest management and governance commitments under the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI). Across the Congo Basin, fears that a proper lack of oversight may put forests and forest peoples in danger are looming despite emerging initiatives.

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22 May 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity

The theme of the 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity is “Our Solutions are in Nature”. It shows that "Biodiversity remains the answer to a number of sustainable development challenges that we all face. From nature-based solutions to climate, to food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity remains the basis for a sustainable future."

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