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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  August 2013  /  Declining deforestation in the African tropics

Declining deforestation in the African tropics

Simon Lewis co-edits special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

Declining deforestation in the African tropics

Dr Simon Lewis has co-edited a special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, which includes 18 new studies on African tropical forests: past, present and future.

Highlights include Mayaux et al, showing a 30% decline in deforestation across the forests of central Africa in the 2000s compared to the 1990s.

Lewis et al also present the first synthesis of African forest structure, which shows that intact closed canopy tropical rainforests in Africa are structurally distinct from those from the Amazon or South East Asia. As a consequence the African forests store a third more biomass per unit area than typical Amazon rainforests.

Simon was interviewed about these results, particularly the slowing rate of African deforestation, by BBC Radio 4 Today, several World Service programmes, Voice of America, and Reuters. (Several other interviews were cancelled by news of the Royal baby!)

Many of the papers, including these, are open access, and French language abstracts are included.

The papers are available at http://bit.ly/108mNgd

The BBC website also covered some of the papers:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23382526.


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