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Forest Certification and the High Conservation Value Concept: Protecting Great Apes in the Sangha Trinational Landscape in an Era of Industrial Logging

Forest Certification and the High Conservation Value Concept: Protecting Great Apes in the Sangha Trinational Landscape in an Era of Industrial Logging

Chapter:
(p.644) 27 Forest Certification and the High Conservation Value Concept: Protecting Great Apes in the Sangha Trinational Landscape in an Era of Industrial Logging
Source:
Chimpanzees in Context
Author(s):
David B. MorganWilliam WinstonCrepin Eyana AyinaWen MayoukouEric V. LonsdorfCrickette M. Sanz
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226728032.003.0027

Surveys in certified logging concessions across Congo Basin indicate that Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification processes have produced positive results benefiting wildlife in the context of timber exploitation. Even so, assessment of the costs and benefits accrued from certification necessitates a long-term approach. Great apes such as chimpanzee and gorilla responses to logging and environmental change are complex. There is valid concern that the consequences associated with exploitation of pristine forest could have negative long-term consequences. As part of a landscape monitoring program the authors of this chapter inventoried the loss of Intact Forest Landscape (IFL) and associated deforestation from 2013 to 2017 in seven logging concessions neighboring the Sangha Trinational landscape, a World Heritage Site in central Africa. To better understand the availability of ape resources, species specific habitat suitability were modeled across the protected area network. A chimpanzee-to-gorilla habitat gradient was found, with the western parks protecting relatively more gorillas while the eastern parks protect more chimpanzees. These results are used to address the debate surrounding the impact of logging in IFL. Findings are also linked to the High Conservation Value Forest concept to provide guidance on defining important attributes and core areas of conservation.

Keywords:   selective logging, forestry, great apes, monitoring, habitat suitability, conservation

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