Just 2% of Africa's Forests in Community Control: No Wonder Deforestation Rates are So High

african logging photo

photo: World Resources Institute via flickr.
Deforestation is beyond any doubt a problem throughout the tropics, with major implications for combatting climate change and preserving biodiversity, but it's particular bad in Africa—Four times the world average in fact. Part of the reason why, the BBC reports, is a lack of community control of forests:The Rights and Resources Initiative says that while about one-third of forest in Latin America and Asia are under community control, in Africa that rate drops to just 2%. With such a low rate of land tenure, and the current slow rates of reform, the report says it would take the countries in the Congo Basin 260 years to reach the level of land ownership reform achieved in the Amazon.

Why is this important? A number of reports, this on included, point out that without effective community involvement, protection of indigenous people's rights, and those of women, programs to stop deforestation and decrease poverty are seriously compromised.

Though that assumes that governments don't just sidestep local lands rights and give away concessions to loggers anyway...

via: BBC News
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