Ten tropical African countries will receive training and support to develop national forest monitoring systems, reports the United Nations. Brazil, which has an advanced deforestation tracking system, will guide the initiative in partnership with the Central Africa Forests Commission (COMIFAC) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The ten participating countries are Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, and São Tomé and Principe.
The initiative has received 6 million euros ($7.3 million) via The Congo Basin Forests Fund, which is funded by Norway and the United Kingdom. The aim of the project is to development of monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) systems to support the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) initiative, which aims to fund forest conservation efforts in tropical nations.
African forests store up to 60 billion tons of carbon in their vegetation and root structure, according to a 2011 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, but were cleared at a rate of 1.9 million hectares per year between 2000 and 2005, releasing more than 400 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.
Forests of the Congo Basin are thought to support livelihoods for 60 million people.