Research indicate that for many African countries, deforestation is the biggest contribution to greenhouse gas emissions in the region and it has been causing so many Damages and set-back the the continent
World annual deforestation is estimated as 13.7 million hectares a year, equal to the area of Greece. Only half of this area is compensated by new forests or forest growth. In addition to directly human-induced deforestation, the growing forests have also been affected by climate change, increasing risks of storms, and diseases. Kyoto protocol includes the agreement to prevent deforestation but not the actions to fulfill it
The Research by the Rainforest Foundation revealed that the forests of the Congo Basin were estimated to contain between 25 and 30 billion tons of carbon, the equivalent of about 4 years of current global anthropogenic carbon emissions. In other words, over half of this carbon is stored within the forest of DRC. In view of this, it is important that Africa’s forests are protected from illegal loggers bearing in mind the huge impact of these forest to Africa and world’s climate as a whole.
Indeed, deforestation in Africa contributes largely to the global greenhouse gas emissions. It is reported that human activities alone have shaved world forests by 2% as a result of increasing demand for fuel and energy. Note that the second contiguous rainforest after the Amazon is the Congo Basin of Africa. This vast green stretch covers parts of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Republic of Congo but has suffered one of the highest rates of logging and agricultural clearing due to the increasing demand for fuel wood without much logging regulation since the 1980s.
Africa is suffering deforestation at twice the world rate, according to the United Nations Environment Programme
Africa as a continent is not as industrialized as other parts of the world. Yet, Africa contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases due to widespread deforestation.
Africa’s major forests are spread across Central Africa, West Africa, East Africa and Madagascar but due to the economic need of the rainforest communities and those of the developed world, commercial logging, woodfuel harvesting and the need to clear more land for agriculture are leading to major deforestation.
As we know, forest reserves act as carbon sinks (they help to remove and store carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the air which is their conventional natural process). But when these forest stocks are depleted due to deforestation, their capacity to remove these gases from the air diminishes and the already stored greenhouse gases are released back into the atmosphere resulting in an amplified greenhouse effect. This increases global temperatures and is commonly referred to as global warming.
Some sources claim that deforestation has already wiped out roughly 90% of West Africa’s original forests.
Deforestation is accelerating in Central Africa, .According to the FAO, Africa lost the highest percentage of tropical forests of any continent during the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s.
According to the figures from the FAO (1997), only 22.8% of West Africa’s moist forests remain, much of this degraded.
Nigeria has lost 81% of its old-growth forests in just 15 years (1990–2005) Massive deforestation threatens food security in some African countries.
One factor contributing to the continent’s high rates of deforestation is the dependence of 90% of its population on wood as fuel for heating and cooking.
Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been caused partly by unregulated logging and mining, but mostly by the demands made by the subsistence activities of a poor population.
In the east of the country, for example, more than 3 million people live less than a day’s walk from Virunga National Park.
Wood from the park’s forests is used by many of those people as firewood, as lumber for construction, and in the production of charcoal. Deforestation caused by subsistence living is an acute threat to the park in general, and to the habitat of the critically endangered mountain gorilla in particular
According to the FAO, Nigeria has the world’s highest deforestation rate of primary forests. It has lost more than half of its primary forest in the last five years. Causes cited are logging, subsistence agriculture, and the collection of fuel wood. Almost 90% of West Africa’s rainforest has been destroyed