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In Ivory Coast, a battle to save cocoa-ravaged forests

In Ivory Coast, a battle to save cocoa-ravaged forests

JOE BAVIER, MAYTAAL ANGEL and ANGE ABOA THIS cocoa-growing settlement was all but destroyed last year by Ivorian forest agents, leaving farmers to rake through their beans amid broken concrete and other remnants. "They set the whole village on fire," said Alexis Kouassi Akpoue, describing the day in January 2020 when the agents raided the settlement in Rapides Grah, a protected forest, where he had illicitly planted cocoa with thousands of other farmers. "The next morning at 5 o'clock they sent in the bulldozers." Yet when Reuters returned to the village a year later, business was again thriving. Farmers dried…
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African tropical mountain forests store far more carbon than previously thought – new research

African tropical mountain forests store far more carbon than previously thought – new research

TROPICAL forests are well known for being the “lungs” of our planet. Through photosynthesis, the trees in these forests produce oxygen and remove enormous amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to mitigate global warming. The world’s most famous tropical forests found on lowlands, like those of the Amazon or Borneo, are celebrated for their ability to store carbon. The Amazon rainforest itself holds up to five years’ worth of human carbon emissions in its trees and soil. A tropical mountain forest in Bwindi, Uganda. Author provided While tropical forests can also be found on tropical mountains such as…
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African first: Gabon paid to protect tropical forests

African first: Gabon paid to protect tropical forests

SETH ONYANGO GABON has become the first African state to receive payment for protecting its forests, in what could further incentivise other forested nations to double up on conservation efforts Dense, deep and almost impenetrable, the tropical forests of the Central African region – dubbed the "second lungs of the world" − extend over 200 million hectares. It is vast and darkly foreboding and defines life for some of the planet’s rarest and most endangered plants and animals. However, decades of illegal logging and unsustainable farming is shrinking forest cover in key forested countries like the Central African Republic, Democratic…
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From beef to chocolate, illegal deforestation found behind many everyday foods

From beef to chocolate, illegal deforestation found behind many everyday foods

ANASTASIA MOLONEY NEARLY 70% of tropical forests cleared for cattle ranching and crops such as soybeans and palm oil were deforested illegally between 2013 and 2019, a study showed on Tuesday, warning of the impact on global efforts to fight climate change. Illegal clearance for commercial agriculture was behind the loss of 4.5 million hectares of forest – an area the size of Denmark - on average each year in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa, said the report by U.S.-based nonprofit Forest Trends. "If we don't urgently stop this unlawful deforestation, we don't have a chance to beat the…
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