Thursday, March 22, 2012

IITA-DR Congo sets up meteorological stations to monitor climate

Stefan Hauser (left) training foresters on the use of meteorological equipment

IITA DR Congo has set up a network of meteorological stations to monitor climate and contribute to research on climate change. As a result, the DR Congo foresters have joined this effort and have purchased a meteorological station in their YOKO forest reserve. IITA Scientist, Stefan Hauser installed the station and trained eight young forestry students in the management of the climate sensors, the programming of the data logger and in handling and analyzing the meteorological data collected by the electronic station.
The Congo basin is the largest contiguous forested area in Africa, and is being threatened by agricultural practices such as logging and slash-and-burn. Climate change as a consequence of deforestation has been documented in African history 3000 years ago. Today the combined effects of greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation may cause stronger and highly undesired effects on agriculture and livelihoods.
The REFORCO project in Kisangani, DR Congo is training foresters to build capacities in protecting forest resources and engendering sustainable forest use. The impact of climate on forests plays a major role in conservation efforts, and IITA's capacity in climate research and monitoring will make a significant contribution in improving the knowledge on forest management under changing climatic conditions.

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