The One Forest Summit was dedicated to the preservation and sustainable management of tropical rainforests in the Congo, Amazonian and South Asian tropical basins. These forest zones are critical for climate regulation, supporting a rich diversity of flora and fauna, and the prevention of future pandemics. INRAE made several contributions.
One forest vision initiative for a conservation at the heart of forests
A scientific session was organised at the summit and launched the new initiative, One Forest Vision. INRAE and CIRAD coordinated the preparation initiative with a number of other French research institutes (CEA, CNRS, IRD, MNHN) at the request of the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research. The initiative will provide information on critical ecosystems.
The Congo basin will be the first area to pilot advanced monitoring methods, with studies on forest degradation, biodiversity and carbon storage at scales ranging from landscapes to regions, combining measuring stations, inventories, remote sensing and artificial intelligence with citizen science and sustainable management practices.
INRAE’s main contributions to initiative will include landscape-scale data on the carbon cycle and expertise developed in French Guiana on forest ecosystems. The Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Interactions (ISPA) Joint Research Unit in Bordeaux and the CEA (LSCE) will develop a remote sensing approach to the Congo basin, calling on the support of Kayrros, a leading start-up. Training and mobility of researchers, with central Africa, with the help of the TSARA franco-african research partnership.
A scientific breakthrough made possible by artificial intelligence
A new study published in Nature, led by NASA and the University of Copenhagen, to which INRAE contributed, has combined AI with satellite images to produce detailed information on the distribution of trees across all African drylands north of the equator. This innovation has made it possible to estimate the characteristics of more than 9.9 billion trees in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as their quantity of stored carbon, estimated at 0.84 billion tonnes. The study provides a database on these trees containing essential information for those working on forest restoration, as well as for farmers who can estimate the carbon stocks of their land.
Protecting forests to prevent future pandemics
A PREZODE session also took place at the Summit. Launched at the One planet Summit in January 2021, at the initiative of Cirad, INRAE and IRD, it is now supported by 200 members governments and institutions, with Gabon joining the initiative at the Summit. PREZODE is placing research on animal, human and environmental health at the heart of the global efforts needed to prevent zoonotic pandemic risks. Philippe Mauguin, CEO of INRAE, and Jean-François Soussana, Vice-President of International Policy signed an open letter published by scientists in the French newspaper Le Monde on March 1st, to alert on the need to protect and manage forests to reduce future pandemics risks.