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The main cause of forest conversion is the growing demand for land for infrastructure and urbanisation, or to produce agricultural commodities and mineral resources. There is significant evidence that agriculture is the main cause of deforestation in the tropics.
In recent years, forest conversion has increased in West and Central Africa; however, few forestry and land tenure laws have been updated to govern it. ClientEarth is reviewing legal frameworks governing forest conversion across the region and internationally, to understand the major risks stemming from inconsistent and incomplete laws on forest conversion, and to suggest potential legal means to address them.