, Volume 114, Issue 1-3, pp 107-121
Date: 25 Feb 2006

A gis-based assessment on the vulnerability and future extent of the tropical forests of the congo basin

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Abstract

This paper examines the vulnerability of the Congo Basin's forests through a GIS platform, taking into consideration the variables of population growth, road density, logging concession, and forest fragmentation. The assessment indicates that the forests will continue to shrink towards the interior over the next 50 years. Current contiguous forests will fragment into three large blocks, including one on the west side of the Congo River and two in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while a large number of small forest patches will retain in the periphery of the large blocks. The study shows that integrated GIS assessment of the driving forces of tropical deforestation can shed light on the future forest distribution and provide a tool to address the broader implications of social and economic development for tropical deforestation.