Forest cover falls 9% in East Africa in 9 years

Forest cover in East Africa has dropped by 9.3 percent from 2001-2009, according to a new paper published in the open-access journal PLoS ONE. The main reasons being that local people clear forests for agriculture, grazing land, and for charcoal to burn. Roads are also bringing more people to the edges of protected areas, where, in some cases, forest loss was more severe than national rates. Commercial logging, both legal and illegal, is also taking a toll.

The best way to mitigate deforestation in the region however is not to keep locals out however, says the study. In fact, current data "suggests that involving local communities in forest management improves forest conservation outcomes." 

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