forest certification and its impacts in gabon
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Forest Certification and its impacts in Gabon. Richard Eba ’ a Atyi. Introduction. Gabon is located in the West Coast of the Central Africa Sub-region Total land area of Gabon: 26.7 million ha Forest cover: 80.2% of the Total land area Exceptional biological diversity

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Presentation Transcript
introduction
Introduction
  • Gabon is located in the West Coast of the Central Africa Sub-region
  • Total land area of Gabon: 26.7 million ha
  • Forest cover: 80.2% of the Total land area
  • Exceptional biological diversity
  • Population about 1.2 million inhabitants (low density)
  • National Economy based on oil (80% of GDP)
  • Timber harvesting and processing first source of employment from the private sector
  • Timber timber industry centered on one main species: Aucoumea klaineana (Okoumé)
background
Background
  • Ownership and tenure
  • Markets of timber products
  • Public policy approach
ownership and tenure
Ownership and tenure
  • All forests are an exclusive property of the the state of Gabon
  • Forest categorized in two: the state permanent forest domain and the rural forest domain
  • All timber harvesting preconditioned by authorization from the forestry administration
  • Local community enjoy customary usage rights over some forest products
ownership and tenure continued
Ownership and tenure (continued)
  • Three types of logging permits (CFAD, PFA and PGG)
  • CFAD and PFA are logging concession granted within the permanent forest domain
  • Logging companies have no rights to exploit NTFP in concessions granted to them
  • Two types of taxes: area based (about one US$ /ha, and value based according to species)
  • 11 million ha already granted to 221 companies
  • 50% of the area opened are managed by 13 companies mostly owned by French business holdings
markets of timber products from gabon
Markets of timber products from Gabon
  • Two production zones
  • Production of approximately 4 million cubic meter of industrial roundwood (70% of the production exported as raw logs)
  • SNBG in charge of the commercialization of timber products in international markets
  • Asian markets (particularly China) are the most important for Gabon’s timber products
  • Processed products are however exported towards Europe
  • Certified products exported mainly to Europe
public policy approach
Public policy approach
  • Dominant role of the government in the decision making process
  • No institutionalized public debates on forest laws and regulations before adoption
  • Logging enterprises are usually informed and capable of influencing the process
  • Donor community has much influence in State decision making (WB, IMF)
  • International ENGOs also influential
  • Poor involvement of local populations
initial support to forest certification gabon
Initial support to forest certification Gabon
  • Important role of international organization
  • The EU/WWF project
  • The National Working Group (NWG) on forest certification
  • ITTO and ATO
  • The Keurhout Foundation
  • Government and sub-regional organizations
development of standards
Development of standards
  • The Keurhout approach
    • Minimum requirement
  • The FSC approach
    • No FSC working group
    • No specified national standards endorsed by FSC
  • The ATO/ITTO harmonized standards
    • A regional approach to standards development
    • Involvement of CIFOR and international ENGOs
main problems and constraints in forestry sector
Main problems and constraints in forestry sector
  • Poor capacity of the forestry administration
  • Inadequate policy and institutional framework
  • Inadequate control, monitoring and enforcement of forestry laws
  • Lack of necessary preconditions for long term investment by the private sector
  • Insufficient access of local actors to information
  • Inadequate scientific knowledge
reaction to forest certification by policy makers and local stakeholders
Reaction to forest certification by policy makers and local stakeholders
  • Negative perception by forestry administration at the beginning
    • Certification process dominated by NGOs
    • Problem of sovereignty
    • Certification does not take into account the specific environment of Gabon
  • Improved perception later
    • Potential positive impact on forest law enforcement
reaction of forest concessions managing enterprises
Reaction of forest concessions managing enterprises
  • Initial positive reaction
  • The Leroy Gabon case
  • Negative opinion of FSC
  • Fear of boycott of African tropical timber products in international markets
  • IFIA code conduct
  • Move towards the Keurhout scheme
current status of forest land certification
Current status of forest land certification
  • 1.5 millions ha certified under the Keurhout system
  • Three companies involved (Leroy, Rougier, Thanry)
  • No FSC certificate
effects of forest certification
Effects of forest certification
  • Difficult to isolate the effects of forest certification from those of general policy changes of the last few years.
  • Local population have a better say in forest management related issues (recent policy changes are partly responsible)
  • Improved governance in the forestry sector
  • Companies managing certified forest are more opened
  • Effect on local development (Thanry case)
conclusion and prospects
Conclusion and prospects
  • Forest certification can be considered as potential tool to promote sustainable forest management in Gabon
  • Forest certification weak as a market incentive for SFM in Gabon (importance of Asian markets)
  • Additional incentive to join forest certification from other processes such as the FLEG initiatives
  • What certification system to join?
  • New FSC Regional Office for Africa
conclusion and prospects continued
Conclusion and prospects (continued)
  • Pan African Forest Certification?
  • Phased approach to forest certification?
  • Potentials for forest certification to contribute to SFM limited
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