Gordon N.Ajonina
CWCS Coastal Forests and Mangrove Programme, Cameroon Wildlife Conservation Society, and Institute of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Doula, Yabassi, Douala, Cameroon

M. Tomedi Eyango
Intitute of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Douala, Yabassi, Douala, Cameroon,BP: 7236 Douala

Published 21 Oct 2014, Encyclopedia of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT

As water covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface, all over the world from the mountain to the sea and particularly visible in the tropical savanna, urban and periurban areas, the natural vegetation associated with waterways which is mostly represented by forests at various levels of inundation from permanent (swamp forests) to dry riparian forests is credited to be among the most species-rich ecosystems. Aquatic forest ecosystems provide critical services for man and wildlife. They are important both to flora and to fauna living in water as well as those living on land. These forests are degraded or lost at an alarming rate due to factors mostly anthropogenic. This entry sets to raise the status of such forests and to demonstrate their capacity and potentials to satisfy mankind needs if sustainably managed under an emerging management regime of “aquaforestry”. Divided into two major parts: part1 –

aquaforests deal with the definitions, characteristics, typology, distribution, structure, and functions of aquaforests including major benefits, threads, and drivers of degradation and loss of aquaforests; part2 – aquaforestry covers the essentials of strategies for sustainable management of aquaforests within integrated river basin approach for sustained production of environmental goods and services to satisfy mankind under the new management regime of “aquaforestry” or “ aquatic forestry” with special reference to African systems.