The Rabi plot is part of the Gabon Biodiversity Program and represents a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Forest Global Earth Observatories (ForestGEO), Smithsonian National Zoological Park's Conservation Biology Institute and Center for Conservation, Education and Sustainability, Shell Gabon, the Government of Gabon, CTFS and other stakeholders. The plot is located in southwestern Gabon's Gamba Complex, an area that is extremely biodiverse. The plot is highly representative of the Guineo-Congolian rainforest that abounds in the Rabi landscape and contains a diverse mix of upland and wet-forest habitats.
The plot will provide baseline data for studies of forest regeneration, carbon dynamics, and biodiversity. In addition, the plot affords the opportunity to help build scientific and resource-management capacity in the region. Late in 2009, researchers completed surveying 25-ha.
Tree tagging, mapping, and identification began in June 2010 and ended in June 2012. During this first census, over 175,000 trees with dbh≥1cm were inventoried, belonging to 340 species of which several new to science.