Forest logging in the Congo Basin has led to forest fragmentation due to logging infrastructures and felling gaps. In the same vein, forest concessions in the Congo Basin have increasing interest in the REDD+ mechanism. However, there is little information or field data on carbon emissions from forest degradation caused by logging. To help fill this gap, Landsat 7 and 8 and SPOT 4 images of the East Region of Cameroon were processed and combined with field measurements (measurement of forest roads widths, felling gaps and log yards) to assess all disturbed areas. Also, measurements of different types of forest infrastructures helped to highlight emission factors. Forest contributes to 5.18 % of the degradation of the annual allowable cut (AAC) (84.53 ha) corresponding to 4.09 % of forest carbon stock (6.92 t ha-1). Felling gaps constitute the primary source of degradation, represented an estimated area of 32.41 ha (2 % of the cutting area) far ahead of primary roads (18.44 ha) and skid trails (16.36 ha). Assessment of the impact of degradation under the canopy requires the use of high resolution satellite images and field surveys.
Topic: logging, carbon, satellite imagery, REDD+
Publication Year: 2016
Source: Journal of Forestry Research 27(6): 1415-1426