The Gabon-Oregon Center supports forestry initiatives and collaboration between researchers in Gabon and Oregon. A team of foresters from the National School of Forestry in Gabon (Ecole National des Eaux et Forêts - ENEF) designed a study to understand the key problems caused by insects in one of Gabon's forests, the Classified Mondah Forest. The goal is to determine the main harmful insects and their associated diseases, the extent of the damage, the age of the host trees and the economic repercussions of the insects.
Insects make up the most important group in the animal world given their immense diversity of close to one million known insect species. Insects have several roles and many are associated with plants. This association can be beneficial for the two partners or advantageous for one partner, as in the case of harmful insects that can directly or indirectly cause disease in the host plant. Insects can directly attack forest trees, generally through their larva, or they can be vectors for viruses and bacteria that cause numerous serious diseases in trees.
Two Gabonese foresters, Professor Sylvain Ibouanga Mboumba and Dr. Jean Bruno Mikissa, traveled to Oregon in 2015 and visited the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest and the Oregon State University Experimental Forest in Corvallis. They met with Oregon State University forestry experts and discussed the possibility of joint work between OSU and ENEF.