A Central African protected area that straddles three countries and teems with gorillas, elephants, and chimpanzees has been named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Education, Science, and Cultural Organization, UNESCO. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) hailed the decision as a major step forward in protecting and promoting the area's world-renowned biodiversity.
The Congo basin is home to the world's second largest rainforest. Not only is it one of the most beautiful places on earth, with incredibly rich biodiversity, it's also a vital source of food, medicine, and other basic services for more than 40 million Congolese people. The forest is now facing a serious threat. Having been granted a licence intended only for artisinal loggers of Congolese nationality, foreign industrial operations are devastating massive areas of the rainforest.
Kijabe's beautiful valleys and water springs could soon be no more if the current wanton felling of trees for charcoal is not stopped. The estimated 110,000 people in the area could continue living in fear of landslides as the trees that have covered the undulating valleys for years are ferried at night as timber while some are converted into charcoal.
Liberia's forestry authority said poachers have overrun the country's national parks and are killing elephants, chimpanzees and other protected species for sale on the bushmeat market. Liberia's Gola forest preserve is part of a vast rainforest that once stretched across this part of West Africa but now covers just patches of Liberia and neighboring countries.
Loggers have almost wiped out Kijabe forest strip and experts predict if this does not stop, landslides will follow. Thousands of people and one of Kenya's largest mission hospitals face threat of a landslide and rampant face water shortages following systematic destruction of an indigenous forest. Experts have already warned the community around Kijabe they not only face a dry future, but mudslides may start. This follows unbridled logging that has claimed 85 per cent of Kijabe forest, according to several estimates.
Environmentalists have raised the red flag over the massive destruction of Kijabe forest by loggers and charcoal burners. There are now fears of a major mudslide in the forest which could see communities leaving downhill and mainly around Kijabe Mission Hospital affected. A visit to the forest established boulders hanging dangerous as heavy rains continue to ponder the area.
The little known Boni coastal forest has exceptional abundance of biodiversity consisting of a most varied ecosystem that provides refuge for endangered mammals such as elephants, Hirola and Wild dog. But, as the Kenya Forest Working Group (KFWG) found out when they visited the forest on 4th and 5th April, perceived insecurity, poor infrastructure and remoteness of the region has ensured that the forest is largely unknown to conservationists and scientists with very little conservation effort in place.
As established scientists with leading academic and research institutions around the world, we would like to express deep concerns about a proposed, massive oil palm development in Cameroon, Africa. SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon, a subsidiary of American agribusiness corporation Herakles Farms, in collaboration with the American non-profit All for Africa, are planning a 70,000-hectare oil palm plantation in southwestern Cameroon. Having examined this project in detail, we question many of the claims and practices of the project proponents, especially their insistence that the "plantations will follow the highest environmental and social standards, complying fully with Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Principles & Criteria."
A new three-year intervention to rehabilitate the Northern Mau Forest at the cost of Euro €2.3 million is set to deliver multiple benefits for Kenya and the region. These range from the restoration of vital water catchments and the establishment of payments for environmental services; to improving the livelihoods of local communities and monitoring carbon storage in the Mau Forest.