FSC General Assembly: Forest Certification in the Congo Basin at the Centre of Negotiations



“Multi-actor approach in the promotion of FSC certification: Experience in the Congo Basin” this is the theme discussed by participants at the parallel session during the 6th FSC General Assembly.

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Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (Malaysia) - 27 June 2011, holding of a parallel session at the 6th FSC General Assembly on the central theme: “Multi-actor Approach for the Promotion of FSC Certification: Experience in the Congo Basin » The session was organized by FSC Bureau – Africa, in close collaboration with CBFP Facilitation and IFIA.




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The key objectives of the session were as follows: (1) share Congo Basin experience in multi-actor approach with GA participants for the promotion of responsible forest management and FSC certification. Role of key actors (logging companies, development organization, environmental NGOs and other service providers); (2) to sensitize stakeholders on the need to promote reliable FSC certification in Africa in general and in the Congo Basin in particular. Promoting responsible management does not pertain to FSC only. It is part of a socio-economic complex and an institutional context, the implication of stakeholders in the certification process is really necessary; (3) to highlight the link between FSC certification and national/regional strategies such as COMIFAC Convergence Plan, FLEGT/APV. FSC certification is a tool which stimulates the implementation of existing national and regional strategies. It is thus a complement to other initiatives.



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The moderator of the session, Cléto Ndikumagenge, CBFP Delegate Facilitator, after indicating the objectives of the session, introduced panel members. The latter made very edifying presentations in the following order: 1) Situation of FSC certification in the Congo Basin by: Elie Hakizumwami - Regional Director for Africa, FSC); 2) Lessons learnt from FSC forest certification in the Congo basin (IFIA-ATIBT: Hervé Bourguignon); Hervé Bourguignon); 


After the introductory note of the Moderator and the two technical presentations, a panel of experts from different organizations completed the presentations on relevant topics: WWF Spain (the role of its organization in the promotion of forest certification in Spain), OLAM (CIB commitment to maintain high level certification), Greenpeace (Requirements for a reliable certification, WCS Gabon (Assessment of performance in forest concessions in Gabon et FSC HQ (Status report of the development of a sub-regional standard in Central Africa)


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Following these presentations, with questions from participants, a series of conclusions, lessons learnt and orientations was revealed including among other things: (1) Progress achieved by the Congo Basin countries in forest certification through the participatory and multi-actor approach was appreciated by the audience; (2) Certification is a multi-actor process in the Congo basin involving concession holders (e.g. OLAM), NGOs (e.g. WWF), FSC, IFIA, WCS, communities and States. Often scarce exchange and dialogue opportunities between stakeholders (IFIA, FSC and Greenpeace) were facilitated. (3) Several worries (partially settled after the meeting) were expressed concerning the intentions of OLAM, which redeemed CIB, to convert forests in agro-industries. OLAM reassured everybody of its will to maintain its commitment as far as certification is concerned. (4) WCS reaffirmed its commitment to assess the performances of concession holders as far as wildlife management in their forest concessions is concerned. The survey carried in Gabon showed that FSC certified companies are the most performant. (5) The need to prepare Congo Basin delegations at the eve of major events is perceived for a better harmonisation and convergence of the different points of view. Finally, AIBT and IFIA request that a reflection be carried out in the sub-region in order to discuss synergy between APV FLEGT and FSC so that FSC certified companies would automatically be awarded FLEGT licence. IFIA suggests to States to see how to limit competition between FSC certified forest concessions and other development activities such as mining.


6th FSC General Assembly: 38 motions voted: 27 adopted and 11 rejected

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The 6th FSC General Assembly was organized at Kota Kinabalu, chief-town of Sabah Province in Malaysia from 26 June to 1st July 2011. Over 400 participants attended. Out of the 38 motions voted on Thursday and Friday, 27 were adopted and 11 rejected. Intense and fruitful discussions before each vote evidenced FSC enthusiasm and commitment towards all its members: A real democracy school – stakeholders are brought to an agreement by vote in case of hesitation. Read the FSC newsletter concerning this issue at the following link: « FSC ISSUE - Special General Assembly »


To learn more concerning this article, please contact Mr Cléto Ndikumagenge (cleto.ndikumagenge@pfbc-cbfp.org)


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FSC Term of Reference

Read article on the development of Congo Basin unique referential


@Photo - M. Cléto Ndikumagenge


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