The Korup Forest Dynamics Plot (KFDP) is located in the Korup National Park, along the western border of Cameroon and that contains one of Africa's richest rainforests -- an evergreen forest in a region of high, strongly seasonal rainfall (about 5.5m/yr). The plot was initiated in 1996, as a collaborative research effort between the BioResources Development and Conservation Program - Cameroon and Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), in conjunction with a medical drug discovery and biodiversity conservation project of the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG). Plot enumeration began in January 1997.
The primary aim of the project was to apply information learned about forest dynamics and demographics to the discovery and development of potential new medicines from rainforest plants, with a focus on finding cures to malaria, leishmaniasis, HIV, and various other diseases with tropical origin. Today, the aim of the program has shifted towards promoting long-term scientific research for the conservation of biological diversity in Cameroon, with new partnership with the University of Buea, Cameroon, and the World Wide Fund for Nature, Cameroon Program.
Tree density in the Forest Dynamics Plot is very high, with a total of 329,000 individuals in the first census, averaging over 6,500 trees/ha. A total of 494 species are found in the 50 ha with an average of 238 species/ha.
Permission to conduct the field program in Cameroon is provided by the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development.