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Tropical Forests

REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Issue Date: Dec 31, 1998
Central African countries, sharing the world's second largest tropical rainforests, second only to the Amazon, have decided to come together to protect their biodiversity and face the challenges posed by economic globalisation. Conservationists from the six central African countries - Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - have decided to draw up a legal framework in this regard. This was decided at the first conference on the Ecosystems of Dense Tropical Rainforests

Tree heat

Issue Date: Nov 15, 1998

Pest help

Issue Date: Oct 31, 1998
The popular image of termites as timber-munching pests needs to be overhauled. In tropical forests, the vast majority of termites do not conform to the stereotype, say researchers at the National History Museum in London. Instead, most termites eat rotting vegetation in the soil and nest underground. They may be as important to the survival of these forests as earthworms are to the health of household gardens. In the last two years, Paul Eggleton and his team have been measuring the biomass and biodiversity of organisms in soils in Cameroon, west Africa.

Shattering myths

Issue Date: Oct 31, 1998

Last tree standing

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1998
TROPICAL forests have been disappearing at alarming rates for the past three decades. Farmers, ranchers and timber industries have denuded millions of acres, and only in the past few years has the resultant damage to the ecosystem has become agonisingly clear.

BRAZIL

Issue Date: Nov 30, 1996

CAMBODIA

Issue Date: Sep 30, 1996
The ports of Cambodia and Thailand are doing a brisk business. Huge piles of logs sawn from Cambodia's dwindling rainforests make their way daily from the main port of Sihanoukville to the Thai seaport of Klong Yai. Investigations by the British Broadcasting Corporation ( bbc ), which carried a documentary on the illegal felling of forests in Cambodia and the Global Witness, a British non-governmental organisation, have revealed that indiscriminate destruction of rainforests goes on despite a ban on logging.

GABON

Issue Date: Sep 30, 1996
This small republic on the west coast of central Africa stands as a test case for Africa's rainforests which are suffering the fastest rate of logging in the world. Gabon has nearly eighty five per cent of green cover which consists of some of the most diverse tropical forests in the world. These ancient forests shelter over 8,000 plant species, 600 different types of bird and 20 species of primate including endangered species like elephants, gorillas and chimpanzees. All this is now under threat from foreign loggers, mostly European, who fell okoume trees and export them to make plywood.

Unwanted custom

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1996
what has been a traditional practice of farming could actually be detrimental to the world's tropical forests, according to a report prepared by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (cgiar). The report, which was released in the first week of August, draws attention to slash-and-burn, a practice followed by subsistence farmers the world over.

Fund freeze

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1996
IT STARTED with a big hype but is now veering towards a rather unfortunate collapse. A us $65-million experiment, which had the backing of the Commonwealth leaders, to save tropical rainforests in Guyana, is now coming apart as funds to sustain the programme have been difficult to come by. The project began in 1989, after Desmond Hoyte, president of Guyana, offered 360,000 ha of virgin forest - the lwokrama forest - to develop and arrive at conservation steps to save rainforests from extinction. The programme was started with a fund of US $5 million and the field
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