Representing approximately one-fifth of the world's remaining closed canopy tropical forest, Central Africa’s forests are of local, regional, and global economic and environmental significance. The forest serves as critical habitat for biodiversity (home to three of the world's four species of great apes) and provides vital regional and global ecological services. The forest also represents a rich resource in terms of food, shelter, and livelihoods for the over 80 million inhabitants of the region.
The region’s forested ecosystems, which play a major economic role and ecological role as a carbon sink and a catchment basin, are threatened by agricultural expansion, resource extraction for mining, timber, and oil, reliance on wood fuel as a primary source of energy, and bushmeat trade. Underpinning these threats is a complex set of underlying drivers including corruption, poor governance, weak policy implementation and oversight, persistent poverty, and civil unrest.
CARPE supports work at multiple scales, including geographically focused programs to critical protected areas combined with cross-cutting support activities that support policy and enabling conditions, inclusive markets, and knowledge management to distill and share network-wide best practices.