Adapting the Congo Basin forests management to climate change: linkages among biodiversity, forest loss, and human well-being

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Tropical forests are at the center of any global debate on climate change and sustainable forest management because of their twin roles in climate change adaptation and mitigation and for resilient development. However, in the countries of the Congo Basin forests receive very little attention in national planning and policies. Climate change is not currently considered in decisions and long-term forest management plans in these countries. This paper demonstrates that: (1) Congo Basin forests are needed for adaptation because they can help to decrease human vulnerability to climate change; and (2) Congo Basin forest management practices need to be adapted to accommodate climate change because these forests are vulnerable to climate change. A framework for facilitating adaptation in forestry is discussed and a review of adaptive actions presented. The paper recommends the adoption of sustainable forest management approach that includes a climate change focus. Such management should not only avoid any adverse effects on the forest resources and conservation of biodiversity, but also provides opportunities for greater, more sustainable rural development and poverty alleviation through income generation and employment opportunities.

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