What are we talking about?: The state of perceptions and knowledge on REDD+ and adaptation to climate change in Central Africa

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Climate change has become a major political issue and has become the subject of discussion and debate at all levels and throughout the world. Central Africa, which harbours the second largest forest in the world, is equally at the centre of debates on the role of forests in the fight against climate change. Consequently, workshops on climate change are very common in this region. This study was carried out by Center for International Forestry Research and aimed to understand how people with professional interest in adaptation and REDD+ in Central Africa comprehend key concepts of climate change. Questionnaires on basic knowledge of key climate change concepts were answered by 138 stakeholders from several Central African countries. These tests were intended to establish a baseline from which a programme of capacity-building could be developed. The results demonstrated that: (1) although workshops on REDD+ and adaptation to climate change are held with increasingly frequency in Central Africa, stakeholders in the region are still struggling to understand the key concepts of climate change, (2) the issues of climate change are evolving so quickly that those who are called upon to defend the interests and positions of the central Africa region are lagging behind the discourses, hence the need for continuous capacity-building, (3) decision-makers in the Congo Basin need frequently updated information and knowledge to be up to the task of supporting the regional position held by Central African Forestry Commission and to defend national interests.

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