The purpose of this project is to gain further insight into the dynamics, identify tipping points in biodiversity conservation and the resilience of social ecological systems in forests of the Congo Basin. It also aims to construct, on different spatiotemporal scales, scenarios of these dynamics that could be used as decision-support tools.

The purpose of CoForTips is to foster better management of the Congo Basin forests through 1) a better understanding of the dynamics and regime shifts of biodiversity, and linkages between social and ecological systems and 2) the construction of scenarios
of biodiversity, exploring possible futures for the forests and people of the region. The scenarios will explicitly address different management and policy options.

How is biodiversity changing? What are the drivers of environmental change? How will they interact and shape the future of the region?
To tackle these questions CoForTips will develop spatially explicit models linking social and ecological processes, and focus on study sites selected along a gradient of human intervention. The project explicitly addresses the need to embed research in the decision making process, and will therefore work in close partnership with the stakeholders and policy makers of the region.

IIASA is leading WP3 which will develop computing tools allowing inferring, predicting and mapping dynamics and processes at the regional and national scale taking into account uncertainties of the input data and models. The final objective is to compute the evolution of Congo Basin forests under different scenarios. 

The project is organized in three research components aiming at:

1) Identifying tipping points in the forests of the Congo basin SES, characterising and mapping biodiversity resilience, identifying stable states and tipping points focusing on tree communities and keystone wildlife species.

2) Constructing scenarios of biodiversity, integrating social, economic, governance, ecological and geophysical processes in a platform able to simulate regional trajectories including sensitivity analysis and levels of uncertainty and incorporating feedback loops based on coping strategies developed by stakeholders.

3) Fostering resilience, embedding the results of our research in the decision making process at the regional and national levels, through well-defined impact pathways involving policy makers and the civil society, through participatory construction of scenarios, fostering innovation in forest and biodiversity policy and management.

The project will cover all the countries of the Congo Basin but three sites will be selected for in-depth surveys: Two sites have already been selected: in Cameroon (Dja region) and in Gabon (Makokou region). A third site is under discussion.

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Last edited: 17 March 2016


Jan 2013 - Dec 2016

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