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23rd annual International seminar on Forest Administration and Mangement. Timber processing downstream industry in Gabon. From OBAME ONDO A. Prosper Forest Director General Adviser Gabon Ministry of Forest, Economy, Water, Fisheries, In Charge of National Parks.

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23rd annual International seminar on Forest Administration and Mangement

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23rd annual international seminar on forest administration and mangement l.jpg

23rd annual International seminar on Forest Administration and Mangement

Timber processing downstream

industry in Gabon

From OBAME ONDO A. Prosper

Forest Director General Adviser

Gabon Ministry of Forest, Economy, Water, Fisheries, In Charge of National Parks

Flagstaff, October 1srt, 2007


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Gabon general overview

  • Gabon General information

    • Located in Central Africa neighbor of Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Congo Brazzaville;

    • Country of 247 000 Km2;

    • More than 1.5 million habitants;

    • 50% of population located in Libreville the capital.

  • Gabon forest cover

    • 22 million hectares of tropical rain forest;

    • Approximately 85% of the surface of the country;

    • Nearly 40% of the surface of the forest remain in primary state;

  • Biodiversity

    • 8000 forest species

    • 400 species of work wood identified with less than 70 are known to users;

    • Huge natural reserve of fauna with around 60 000 Elephants;

    • 13 national parks with a total of 4 millions ha.

  • Forest Potential (According to Forest Ministry inventories, 1995)

    • Forest Stock: 2.6 billion m3;

    • Marketable wood stock400 million m3;

    • Major commercial wood stock

      • Okoume (Aucoumea Klaineana) 130 millions m3;

      • Andoung (Monopetanthus and Traberlineu spp)50 million m3;

      • Ozigo (Dacryodes buettneri)40 million m3;

    • Annual deforestation rate1%<


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Timber processing downstream industry issue in Gabon: Problems and Impacts

  • Problems facing by Forest industries in Gabon:

    • Huge presence of foreigner in artisanal transformation;

    • Low involvement of Gabonese in this segment of the forest activity;

    • Out datedness of equipment therefore unsuited to more transformation;

    • Lake of expertise on timber processing downstream industry both in forest administration and industrials operators;

    • Narrowness of the local market;

    • Difficulties of regular provision which certain units of transformation facing;

    • Domination of the sector by large and powerful of European groups who feed the factories of their countries of origin;

  • Impacts

    • Exportation of barks:

      • 80% of barks produce from Gabonese forest are exported;

      • Okoume with 1.5 million m3/year is so far the more commercial and exported forest specie;

      • Asian continent, because of its running economic growth, holds 1st place with a level of export around 500 000 m3/year

      • Followed by European, our tradition customer, with an average of the exports fixed at approximately 250 000 m3

    • Exportation of derived products (sawmill, plywood, cutting):

      • No more than 50 000 m3 of wood are exported

      • In 2006 European holds 75% of the Gabon exports derived products;

      • Followed by Africa 18%, Asia 6% and Americas 1%


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Gabon strategy for tackling this burning issue 1/2

In order to booster the development of industrial fabrics in Gabon, the Forest Department started and plan to undertake the following actions:

1 - Build up a true industrialization policy:

- In organizing study tours in similar countries to Gabon but more experienced in timber processing downstream industry such as Brazil and Malaysia;

- In setup a technical partnership with those countries;

2 – Fix and allot the sales quotas of barks to be exported and take care of the effective application

- Up to year 2006, 23 forest companies were assignees of free sales quotas corresponding to 2 millions m3;

- According to the new regulation put in place and to the council ministry decision on December 2006, Forest department pushing in force the transformation of local production moves to reach 75% by 2012.

3 – Promotion of an Optimal valorization of the rebus and waste

This could be increase quantity of wood transformed resulting from:

- Forestry development and industry (abutments, branches, forks, barks, chips and severs vase, falls of wood)

- Production of additional products (parquets floors, frameworks of doors and windows, agglomerates, decorative objects, etc.)


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Gabon strategy for tackling this burning issue 2/2

4 – Promotion of the secondary species that are little known

- Less than 70 species are entered in factories in 2006 other the 400 marketable known in Gabon;

- In this respect, a promotional effort will be undertaken trough accompaniment and research development, towards a better knowledge of species little or not known for technological, aesthetic and biological qualities of their wood.

5 – Creation of an industrial zone of the craftsmen of wood

As in other developing countries, this may help to booster a core group of expertise in timber processing downstream industry in Gabon and facilitate their management.

6 – Follow up of the process of industrialization

- Follow-up control of the activities of industries of wood (application of the law);

- Care on the trade of wood ( export and local consumption);

7 - Refining Gabon Forestry School according to industries needs and Sep up of the School for the small trades of woods

- The refining of the Gabon forestry school will help Gabon forest administration and industrials to be more efficient in dealing with forest industry issues;

-The setting up of school for small trades of woods will increasing the qualification of professionals woods traders established personally in this sector (more than 200)


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