African moist forests are enduring ever more pressure from over-use and climate change. Interest is increasing in their contribution to global mitigation and adaptation strategies. The challenge now is how to reduce deforestation without threatening the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on African moist forests. Policy changes are required to transform internationally binding agreements into effective national laws. More monitoring of moist forests and comprehensive data analysis are urgently needed. But above all, local coping strategies must be assessed, and adapted and expanded where they are shown to support livelihoods while also protecting the forests on which they depend.