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ERC-European Research Council (ERC)

Improving tropical forest conservation in Africa

Tildelt: kr 20,0 mill.





2024 - 2029


The importance of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for better balancing tropical forest conservation and poverty alleviation goals is increasingly recognised. Yet, in Africa, poor understanding of the impact of harvesting on species’ populations and forest carbon stocks, together with little information on the traditional institutions which have informally regulated NTFPs extraction in the past -and could continue to do so in the future-, hamper the use of NTFPs in both forest conservation and development initiatives. AFRI-FOR will gather the knowledge needed to determine (1) the key enablers of sustainable harvesting for groups of plant or wild meat species, (2) which types of NTFP harvesting can have synergies with carbon storage, and (3) how traditional institutions can be integrated into formal conservation. To achieve these objectives, AFRI-FOR provide new methods, including (i) a new interdisciplinary approach for investigating NTFPs harvesting impacts, combining traditional ecological knowledge (TEK, from local communities), surveys of plants and wildlife, market surveys and modelling techniques; and (ii) a novel standardised protocol for gathering information about traditional institutions and compliance towards them. AFRI-FOR will gather data and knowledge from 20 socio-ecological forest contexts in five countries (Sierra Leone, Cameroon, DR Congo, Uganda and Kenya), which will allow insights to transcend single sites and provide a much-needed general understanding. This high-risk and high-gain project will provide a step-change in our ability to inform forest conservation in Africa, by identifying synergies between biodiversity conservation, carbon storage and poverty alleviation goals.


ERC-European Research Council (ERC)