Antoine Leblois : The Impact of Forest Management Plans on Forest Disturbances in Logging Concessions of the Congo Basin

The Impact of Forest Management Plans on Forest Disturbances in Logging Concessions of the Congo Basin

The Impact of Forest Management Plans on Forest Disturbances in Logging Concessions of the Congo Basin

Antoine Leblois (CEE-M)

Abstract

Forestry regulations in the Congo Basin require Forest Management Plans (FMP) for logging concessions to balance timber production and conservation while also safeguarding the livelihoods of local communities. However, the implementation of these reforms has been uneven across countries and many logging concessions operate without FMPs due to various external factors. This study exploits the staggered adoption of the reform to examine the impact of FMPs on forest disturbances across Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo using high-resolution forest maps and official logging concession records from 2000-2020. Our preliminary results suggest the FMP approval reduces tree cover loss in logging concessions with a FMP. Specifically, having an FMP is associated with a decrease in forest degradation, which ultimately leads to lower levels of tree cover loss. Additionally, the findings indicate that the avoided tree cover loss in concessions with an FMP varies over time and across concessions. Concessions that approved their FMP earlier exhibited higher levels of avoided deforestation and forest degradation compared to those that validated their FMP later

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