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News Link • Africa: On the Map

Deforestation in Congo basin slows, but for how long?


New analysis of images from NASA's Landsat satellites has found that 18,000 square kilometres of forest was destroyed in the Congo basin between 2000 and 2010, a net loss of 1 per cent. That figure was sharply down on the 29,000 square kilometres lost in the preceding decade, says Philippe Mayaux of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy.

According to Mayaux, the reprieve is partly because of sluggish economic growth in Africa, and partly because foreign investment there has concentrated on mining and oil rather than logging or commercial agriculture. This is in contrast to south-east Asia, where forest clearance for pulp and paper manufacture, and for palm oil production, has been in overdrive.

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