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Forest biodiversity and the impact of deforestation

Tropical rainforests in Africa are particularly renowned for their biodiversity, but other types of forests are also of great value. Deforestation in Africa, a product of economic development, is closely linked to international trade and we can speak of imported deforestation for consuming and importing countries from other continents. However, certain experiences of regeneration and the establishment of agroforestry are however encouraging for the future of these forests.

9:15 - 9:35

The importance of the submontane forests of Central Africa and their value for conservation

Presenter: Christelle Gonmadje ( 1 Department of Plant Biology and Physiology, University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon BP 812, Yaoundé, Cameroon)

Authors: Christelle Gonmadje  1 , Charles Doumenge  2 , Barthélemy Tchiengue  3 and Judicaël Lebamba  4


2  CIRAD, Campus International de Baillarguet, TA C-36 / D, F-34398 Montpellier cedex 5, France

3  National Herbarium of Cameroon BP 1601, Yaoundé, Cameroon

4  University of Science and Technology of Masuku, Franceville (Gabon)

In Central Africa, submontane forests represent only 1.2% of plant formations and are still poorly understood. Despite their importance for the conservation of biodiversity and populations, these forests are threatened by deforestation. Hence the need for reliable data to ensure their sustainable management.

The objective is to evaluate the floristic diversity and to estimate the biomass of the submontane forests of South Cameroon.

9:35 - 9:55

The contribution of coffee and cocoa agroforestry systems to the conservation of biodiversity and the fight against climate change in the Littoral and West Cameroon regions

Presenter: Lucie Temgoua (University of Dschang, Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forestry.

Woody species conserved or introduced into coffee and cocoa agroforestry systems by helping farmers to diversify their sources of income, make them more resilient and less vulnerable to climate change.

In Cameroon, farmers have mainly oriented their coffee and cocoa production systems towards diversification of production. Many woody species are introduced or conserved there. These species provide a variety of services which, while helping farmers to diversify their income, make them more resilient and less vulnerable to climate change.

9:55 - 10:15

Natural regeneration assisted by farmers in Central Africa to restore their landscapes

Presenter: Arnot Kpolita (UR Forests and Societies, Central African Republic - RCA)

On the outskirts of large urban centers, the impact of human activities has led to the decline of forest formations. To limit this impact, farmers are taught to keep trees in their fields.

Classified in 1950 by the Ministry of Water Forests and Hunting, the Botambi reserve presents three gradients of deforestation and degradation, depending on their increasing distance from the city of Bangui, namely the villages of Talo (savannah landscape), Botéké (landscape very degraded forest, in the process of savanization), and Salanga (forest landscape at the start of degradation). In these villages, farmers were trained in the technique of assisted natural regeneration (a practice which consists of protecting trees in the fields when weeding crops) to enrich their skills.  future fallows and move towards an agroforestry system.

10:15 - 10:35

What definition of forests do we need to fight against imported deforestation?

Presenter: Nicolas Picard (GIP ECOFOR, France)







The import of agricultural commodities is responsible for an important part of deforestation in tropical areas.  

The implementation of local solutions to fight against imported deforestation can be done on the basis of a consensus between local actors of what forests are. However, imported deforestation is a global phenomenon, with long-distance interdependencies between the economies of different countries. Monitoring the impact of solutions to imported deforestation then requires definitions of the forest specified at the country level.

10:35 - 10:55

Articulation between public policies and private mechanisms for the fight against imported deforestation

Presenter: Alain Karsenty (CIRAD, "Environments and Societies" Department, UMR SENS (Knowledge, Environment, Societies), Montpellier, France)

Containing imported deforestation implies criteria for qualifying deforestation, which will not necessarily be those of the countries of origin but which cannot be uniform. Accrediting independent certifications, distinguishing legal and illegal deforestation and putting in place a tax incentive system to promote zero-deforestation productions, would be a realistic option.

10:55 - 11:10

Discussions with the public on zero imported deforestation (conclusions from a conference on imported deforestation)


11.30 - 11.50

Study of the dynamics of savannah forests in the context of conservation issues and the implementation of major structures in Central Africa

Presenter: The Benefactor Sagang Tagoukoum (ARTS, AMAP, IRD scholarship holder)









Authors: The Benefactor Takougoum Sagang, Pierre Ploton,  Pierre Couteron, Bonaventure Sonké, Nicolas Barbier.

1 Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD)

2 Laboratory of Systematic Botany and Ecology (LaBosystE)

3 Institute of Research for Development (IRD)

4 Botany and Architecture Modeling of Plants and Plants (UMR AMAP)

Remote sensing combined with field inventories make it possible to assess the impact of development projects on vegetation, to develop compensation measures and to support the development of protected areas.

We present the case of a dam and a protected area in a forest-savanna transition zone. The Landsat image archives have made it possible to quantify the dynamics of the cover and the fire regime since 1975. The impact of these dynamics on the structure (biomass) and the composition (diversity) of the current vegetation provides information on the plans of conservation / compensation actions to be implemented.

11:50 - 12:10

Use of drone images for the study of the three-dimensional structure of dense humid tropical forests (work on sites in Congo RC and DRC)

Presenter: Jean-Baptiste Ndamiyehe (UR Forêts et Sociétés, doctoral student Univ. De Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo - DRC)








Authors: Jean-Baptiste Ndamiyehe, Philippe Lejeune, Gauthier Ligot, Adeline Fayolle, Léopold Ndjele and Sylvie Gourlet-Fleury

Drone remote sensing offers exciting opportunities to gather reliable information on the canopies needed to better understand and manage tropical forest biodiversity by reducing reliance on field inventories.

A better understanding of the structure and dynamics of tropical forests is essential for the planning and management of biodiversity. Traditionally, forest structure and dynamics are described from field inventories which are often expensive and laborious. We are testing the use of 3D images acquired using drones for the characterization of dense forests in Central Africa. In particular, we are evaluating the contribution of these data to better understand and predict tree growth while reducing the need for fieldwork.

12:10 - 12:30

The evolutionary history of African forests through a model genus (the genus Khaya, African mahogany)

Presenter: Gaël Bouka (UR Forests and Societies, Republic of Congo)


The study of the genus Khaya (Meliaceae) has made it possible to better understand the speciation events that led to the current structuring of species of this genus and to shed light on the history of African forests. The combination of traditional methods (botany, biogeography) and cutting-edge techniques in plant genetics has made it possible to trace the evolutionary history of African mahogany, thereby shedding light on that of African forests. These results are particularly important for adapting management strategies for heavily exploited and traded species, but also for the conservation of biodiversity and African tropical forests.

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The experts

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Christelle Gonmadje

Christelle is Cameroonian, teacher - researcher at the University of Yaoundé I (Cameroon).


She works on issues related to the conservation and sustainable management of Central African forests and climate change: identification of priority areas for biodiversity conservation, forest ecology, biogeography, carbon stocks, etc.


Lucie Temgoua

Lucie Temgoua has been a teacher at the University of Dschang in Cameroon since 2008, her research activities in the field of forest and agroforestry ecosystem management are organized around the analysis of the dynamics of biodiversity and ecosystem services in landscapes. anthropized forest.

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Arnot Kpolita

Arnot Kpolita is botanical assistant at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Bangui. He is working on a thesis between the University of Bangui and CIRAD in Montpellier (France). Its theme is: "Floristic diversity and ecological and spatial dynamics of forest resources in agricultural areas south of Bangui, case of the Botambi reserve".

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Nicolas picard

Nicolas Picard heads the public interest group “Forest ecosystems” at the interface between forest sciences, forest management and public policies on forests. This leads him to deal with the various issues concerning forests, both temperate and tropical.

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Alain Karsenty

Alain Karsenty, economist, is a researcher at CIRAD. His research focuses on economic instruments for the environment and their implementation in Africa. He is a member of the scientific board of the French Global Environment Fund (FFEM) and of the Board of the Nicolas Hulot Foundation (FNH).


Le Bienfaiteur Sagang Tagoukoum

Le Bienfaiteur T. Sagang is a doctoral student in tropical plant ecology with a particular interest in the use of remote sensing for spatial modeling of land use types; the dynamics of cover and monitoring of carbon flows and stocks.


Jean-Baptiste Ndamiyehe

Jean-Baptiste Ndamiyehe is carrying out his doctorate in forest ecology and remote sensing with the support of Cifor and under the supervision of scientists from CIRAD, the University of Kisangani and Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech . He also heads a research firm "CAStOR" specializing in mapping and management of natural resources.

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Gaël Bouka

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