Regional Assessment 2022: Tracking progress towards forest goals in the Congo Basin

Report Authors: Marion Ferrat, Sanggeet Mithra Manirajah, Freddy Bilombo, Anna Rynearson, Paul Dingkuhn
Climate Focus contributors: Maartje van den Biggelaar, Sarah Bouchon, Thiago Chagas, Claire Coviaux, Bregje Drion, Jillian Gladstone, Franziska Haupt, David M. Landholm, Erin D. Matson, Ivan Palmegiani, Charlotte Streck, Aron Teunissen

The first-ever Regional Assessment was undertaken in 2022 to examine progress against forest goals in the Congo Basin. The Regional Assessment takes stock of efforts to protect forests in six countries in the Congo Basin region: Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo.

Executive Summary (in English)

2022 Regional Assessment (In French)

Report Annex (In French)

2022 Regional Assessment (In English)

Report Annex (In English)

Assessing Progress in the Congo Basin 

The Congo Basin holds the second-largest tropical forest in the world and the largest intact forest landscape. The region’s forests are an important carbon sink for regional and global ecological and climate regulation, a biodiversity hotspot, and home to 60 million people for whom the forests represent essential natural resources and cultural heritage. Indigenous peoples (IPs) and local communities (LCs) in the Congo Basin uniquely rely on and sustainably manage these ecosystems.

Keeping global warming below 1.5ºC by the end of the century means achieving a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and removals over the next 30 years. This requires not only emission reductions in all economic sectors, but also the preservation and enhancement of forest carbon sinks. Over the 2001-2019 period, the Congo Basin’s forests presented the largest net carbon sink in the tropics, removing 0.61 net gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalents (GtCO2e) per year. The conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of the Congo Basin forests must be at the center of regional and global climate efforts.

Learn more about the Regional Assessment and the Forest Declaration Assessment.