Assessment of Mangrove Carbon Stocks in Cameroon, Gabon, the Republic of Congo (RoC) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Including their Potential for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+)

Part of the Estuaries of the World book series (EOTW)


We present results of the field assessment using a total of fifteen 0.1 ha mangrove permanent sample plots (PSPs) in four selected countries in Central Africa, including: Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of Congo and Democratic of Republic, which together account for 90 % of mangroves in Central Africa. Above- and belowground carbon stocks were computed using data from the PSPs in all four countries. Long-term monitoring data in Cameroon were used to estimate carbon sequestration rates. Four major carbon pools were considered: aboveground carbon, belowground root carbon, deadwood and the soil organic carbon. All the eight mangrove species described in Central Africa were encountered in the study. The dominant species in Central Africa is Rhizophora racemosa, and it occupies more than 70 % of the forest formation. The average stand density ranged from a low of 450 tree/ha in degraded forest of RoC to a high of 3,256 tree/ha in undisturbed stands of Cameroon. Standing volume ranged from a low of 213 m3/ha in RoC to a high of 428 m3/ha in Cameroon; corresponding to aboveground biomass values of 251 and 505 Mg/ha, respectively. Together with the deadwoods, the total vegetation biomass in the study area ranged from a low of 394 Mg/ha in RoC to a high of 825 Mg/ha in Cameroon. Mean diameter increment for primary and secondary stems was 0.15 cm/year. This translates to above- and belowground annual biomass increments of 12.7 and 3.1 Mg/ha/year, respectively. Total ecosystem carbon in undisturbed system was estimated at 1520 ± 164 Mg/ha with 982 Mg/ha (or 65 %) in belowground component (soils and roots) and 538 Mg/ha (35 %) in the aboveground components. Carbon density differed significantly (p < 0.05) with forest conditions. The least total ecosystem carbon of 808 ± 236 Mg/ha was recorded in heavily exploited forests, translating to CO2 equivalent of 2,962 Mg/ha. Undisturbed mangrove forests sequester annually 16.5 MgC/ha against 6.9 MgC/ha for degraded systems. Certain recommendations are made to improve and consolidate these estimates especially through validation of cover change, continuous monitoring PSP as well the development of site specific allometric equations for mangroves in Central Africa.


Carbon accounting Mangroves REDD+ Central Africa 



Diameter at breast height


Democratic Republic of Congo


Food and Agriculture Organization


Permanent sample plot


Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation


Republic of Congo


United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Programme


United Nations Environment Programme


United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre



This project was implemented by the Cameroon Wildlife Conservation Society (CWCS) and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC),with financial and technical support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD), and the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI). The authors are indebted to all those who assisted the project by providing information, support and facilities especially: Constant ALLOGO (CARPE, IUCN Gabon); Bernard Henri VOUBOU, UNDP, Gabon; Léandre M EBOBOLA Ministry of Forests & Water, Gabon; Mme Marie AYITO, Director of Aquatic Ecosystems, Gabon; FélicienJoël BODINGA, Deputy Director of Aquatic Ecosystems, Gabon; Dr Emmanuel ONDO ASSOUMOU, Geography Department, Omar Bongo University, Gabon; Germain KOMBO, Jean Felix ISSANG, Marcel MPOUNZA, UNDP, Congo; MFOUTOU Gaston, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Forests Economy and Environment, Congo; Jerôme MOKOKO, WCS-Congo; Jean Pierre KOMBO, Focal Point of Abidjan Convention, Congo; Akenzenee OGNIMBA, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Forests Economy and Environment, Congo; Pierre Justin MAKOSSO, Mairie de PN; Jean Simplice MADINGOU, Department of Forestry, Congo; Antoine BITA, Department of Environment, Congo; Roland Missilou BOUKAKA, Conservator Conkouati-Douli National Park; Basile NIAMATELE, Conkouati-Douli National Park, Congo; Vincent KASULU SEYA MAKONGA, Ministry of Environment, Conservation of Nature and Tourism, DRC; CosmaB. WILUNGULA, Director of the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN), DRC; COLLET Mangrove Marine Park, DRC;Urbain ASANZI, Mangrove Marine Park, DRC; Louis NGUELI MPAYI, Mangrove Marine Park, DRC; Peter LUKAMBA LUNDENGO, OCPE, DRC; MBUNGU NDAMBA, ACODES, DRC.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CWCS Coastal Forests and Mangrove ProgrammeMouankoCameroon
  2. 2.Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research InstituteMombasaKenya
  3. 3.UNEPNairobiKenya
  4. 4.University of BueaBueaCameroon
  5. 5.Institute of Fisheries and Aquatic SciencesUniversity of Douala (Yabassi)DoualaCameroon

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