Congo Basin: extent of peatlands and threats
While currently intact, the central Congo Basin peatlands and their carbon stocks are highly vulnerable to land use change (Haensler et al., 2013). Large areas of the Cuvette Centrale are designated as Ramsar sites, covering most of the peatlands, with several other protected area designations. On the other hand, most of the region is also covered by proposed or current concessions for logging, mining and oil and gas development, including the expansion of the road network which could increase access to previously remote locations (see figure 7). Other possible threats include agricultural expansion into untouched areas leading to deforestation, peatland drainage and overall ecosystem degradation. Furthermore, some regional climate projections forecast reduced annual rainfall and stronger dry seasons that could also lead to peatland drying and drainage (Miles et al., 2017).
Cartographer: Nieves Lopez Izquierdo