Forest Certification: A Guarantee Towards the Improvement of the Image of Congo Basin Tropical Timber


docs/news/Nov2010-Jan2011/OIBT_Side_event_Participant.jpgYokohama (Japan)- 15 December 2010, holding of a session parallel to the 46th ITTO session on “Lessons on Congo Basin Forest Certification” It was organised by CBFP Facilitation and COMIFAC in close collaboration with FSC and IFIA.  About forty participants attended the meeting, including: Representatives of tropical timber producing and consuming countries such as Spain, Australia, Switzerland, Ghana, Congo, Papua New Guinea, Italy, Gabon, Canada, Cameroon, Japan, Indonesia, Liberia, Ecuador and Cote d’Ivoire, as well as several organisations acting as ITTO Council observers.


 The overall objective of the session was to demonstrate the contribution of forest certification to the protection of biodiversity and the socioeconomic development of communities.  They are, (1) to promote progress achieved by Congo Basin countries in terms of responsible management of their forests; (2) to reinforce partnerships between ITTO member countries, the private sector and other CBFP partners involved in sustainable management and forest certification, and (3) to sensitise partners for a support to forest certification process in Africa as a whole and in the Congo Basin in particular.


docs/news/Nov2010-Jan2011/OIBT_Side_event_Facilitateur_delegue.jpgThe session moderator, Cléto Ndikumagenge, Delegate CBFP Facilitator, after indicating the objectives of the session, introduced the speakers. The latter made very relevant presentations in the following order: (1) FSC Certification Progress in the Congo Basin by Elie Hakizumwami, FSC Director for Africa (2) The Role of the State in Forest Certification: The Case of Cameroon, by Samuel Ebia Ndongo, Cameroon Forest Director; (3) The Role of States in the Process of Forest Concession in the Congo Basin: The Case of the Republic of Congo, by Donatien Nzala, General Manager of Forest Economy; (4) Public-Private Partnership Experiences in Forest Certification Prepared by Catherine Peguillan of IFIA-ATIBT and presented by Remy Mukongo Shabantu of ECCAS.


After these presentations and following questions asked by participants, a series of conclusions and lessons learned was revealed, including among others: (1) The progress achieved by Congo Basin countries in the domain of forest certification through the participatory and multi-sector approach adopted by these countries, was appreciated by the public; (2) Countries which own forest resources were highly involved in the certification process with a focus on technical tools and creating favourable conditions for the promotion of certification (the case of Cameroon) and on politicdocs/news/Nov2010-Jan2011/OIBT_Side_event_Panel_2.jpgal commitment and partnership (the case of Congo); (3) The role of FSC was determinant in the promotion of the responsible management of forests in the Congo basin; (4) It is not advisable to be limited to only one forest certification model in Central Africa; countries and stakeholders must choose based on the credibility of the model and the requirements of the market; (5) Unfortunately, certification has a cost which is not compensated by market cost. A financial support to enterprises and actors involved in attending to enterprises, actors’ capacity building, as well as the development of tools, are very necessary for the promotion of forest certification in the Congo Basin; (6) CBFP shall continue to promote certification in its 2010-2012 action plan and asks participants to the 46th ITTO session to be the ambassadors of the Congo Basin for the progress of this sub-region in terms of responsible management and forest certification to be recognised by the international community.


To learn more about this article, please contact Mr Cléto Ndikumagenge (

@Photo - Mr Cléto Ndikumagenge

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