A substantial contribution toward making operational goal No. 8 (Research and Development) of the Convergence Plan


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Preface by Raymond Mbitikon, Executive Secretary of COMIFAC


It is recognized worldwide that Central African forests play an important economic, social, cultural and ecological role. They contribute to the economic development of countries, to improving the lives of people and preserving the global environment.


For these forests to continue to provide the local population, countries and mankind, with the desired goods and services, research has to be at the core of any political action. In effect, research on the dynamics of forest ecosystems and their various environmental services should help respond to concerns related to the sustainable management of forest ecosystems and the fight against poverty. However, it is clear that in recent decades, forestry research has suffered nationally because of the decline in national funding, which has paralyzed the functioning of national forestry research centres. To this main crisis factor should be added the weak capacity of national scientific communities to convince authorities and partners to include their priorities in national agendas in order to generate adequate funding.



docs/research_docs/Facilitation canadienne 2011/RDP-Recherche.jpgIt was on the contrary observed that forestry research initiatives in the sub-region are carried on mainly by international research institutions. As part of ongoing discussions on the new global climate code for example, it was noted that deforestation contributes to about a quarter of the overall volume of greenhouse gas emissions. Deciphering this rather innocuous revelation for informed actors of Central Africa, showed the negative impact of the lack of adequate scientific data on Central African forest ecosystems.



It is in this context that in co-organizing a workshop on "Research on forest ecosystems", COMIFAC, CIFOR, CIRAD and IRD with support from the CBFP wanted to revive discussions on the place and importance of forestry research in Central Africa. The quality of the participants at this workshop, its participatory approach and lack of taboo subjects justify the feeling of real satisfaction experienced while discovering the outputs of this workshop. Furthermore, relevant recommendations on synergies and partnerships, priority research topics and funding provide the various stakeholders with strategic avenues for intervention, which undoubtedly, ultimately contribute toward improved management of Central Africa forest ecosystems; if everyone pitches in with a spirit of solidarity and genuine collaboration.


The Executive Secretariat of COMIFAC sees through the outputs of this workshop, a substantial contribution toward making operational goal No. 8 (Research and Development) of the Convergence Plan. The latter is the strategic framework for implementation of the Declaration that sanctioned the Central Africa Heads of States Summit on the conservation and sustainable management of forest ecosystems in the sub-region, held in Yaoundé in March 1999.


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