Satellite images of the Congo Basin of Africa revealed that deforestation has dropped down by around one-third since 2000 in the area. Researchers explained that this happened partly due to focus on mining activities as well as oil instead of commercial agriculture, where whole bandages of forests are cleared.
The study of the state of deforestation was a part of series which is examining the state of forests of Africa. The primary focus was on Amazon and on South East Asian tropical rainforests. The missing part was completed through Congo Basin in Central Africa. It is important to note that Congo Basin is the second largest rainforest in the world after the Amazon, size-wise. The Congo Basin rainforest covers around 2 million sq km or 800000 sq miles area. The study revealed that this rainforest was in a much better condition than expected.
The satellite images taken from the space enabled the researchers to monitor the change in dense foliage over the time. It was found that during the 1990s, around 3000 sq km or 1000 sq miles of forest was filled every year. But from 2000 to 2010, deforestation rate slowed down considerably. Less than 2000 sq km or 700 sq miles of rainforest were lost every year during that time.
This happened because there was a network of the protected area. This however, also happened because of lack of expansion from agriculture.
Losing the portions of crucial rainforests like these can have a huge impact on the climate change, biodiversity as well as the communities which are dependent on the environment. The rainforests of Africa have a very important role.