FAO-Gabon: Validation workshop on Participatory Forestry review in Gabon

 

 

Please download the final communique below: Atelier de validation du rapport d’évaluation de l’étendue et de l’efficacité de la foresterie participative

 

 

In a bid to help Gabon’s participatory forestry sector reach its full potential, the Ministry of Forestry and the Environment has conducted a study to review participatory forestry with the technical assistance of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The FAO’s framework for assessing the extent and effectiveness of Participatory Forestry was used to conduct the study. A validation workshop on the study was held from 21 to 22 February 2018.

 

Based on the findings of the study, the participants were invited to reflect and propose priority actions to be implemented in the short and medium term, with a view to improving the effectiveness of Participatory Forestry in Gabon. Participants recommended a short-term moratorium on industrial timber extraction in community forests and also called for a decree that would define standards for artisanal use of forest products in community forests. Reforms will be required in the medium term based on policy guidelines to be set out in a national strategy on participatory forestry.

 

Please download the final communique below: Atelier de validation du rapport d’évaluation de l’étendue et de l’efficacité de la foresterie participative

 

 


Excerpt from the communiqué:

 

 The validation workshop on the study report on the extent and effectiveness of Participatory Forestry, hosted by the Ministry of Forestry and the Environment, was held in Libreville, Gabon from 20 to 21 February 2018, with the technical support of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

 

The main aim of the meeting was to review and validate the final study report on the extent and effectiveness of participatory forestry in Gabon. 

 

The meeting drew close to 50 participants from the Ministry of Forestry and its branches, the FAO, corporate bodies involved in community forest management, committees responsible for managing and monitoring contract specifications in CFAD, committees in charge of consultation and local management of national parks, economic operators of the forest-wood sector, civil society, consultancies and development partners. 

 

The workshop’s opening ceremony featured two speeches delivered by the representative of the Resident Representative of the FAO in Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe, and the Minister of State, Minister of Forestry and the Environment.

 

Mr. Lionel KINADJIAN, speaking on behalf of the Resident Representative of the FAO in Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe, began by thanking the Gabonese Government and expressed special gratitude to the Minister of State, Minister of Forestry and the Environment, for his personal commitment to providing the support which facilitated the organization of the workshop. He then recalled that the study which had produced the report being considered for validation, came at a time when improving participatory forestry has become an ongoing concern for many countries around the world, prompting the FAO to develop an evaluation framework to check whether conditions are in place for participatory forestry to unleash its full potential. He noted that the study provides information on the performance of the three (3) existing participatory forestry regimes in Gabon, as well as steps to be taken to improve them.

 

In his statement, Mr. Pacôme MOUBELET BOUBEYA, Minister of State and Minister of Forestry and the Environment, extended the Gabonese Government’s gratitude to the FAO for its multifaceted support and especially for the study which aims to improve living conditions and reduce poverty in rural areas, consistent with the vision of the country’s highest authorities outlined in the Social Pact. He then called on participants to: deepen the reflection, exchange and reconcile their  views on the conclusions and recommendations of the study report submitted for validation in order to identify bottlenecks preventing participatory forestry from achieving its full potential; define adequate measures to improve its effectiveness and efficiency and issue specific recommendations for policy makers to lift the provisional suspension of the creation of the community forests.

 

The opening ceremony was followed by the adoption of the workshop agenda. The main moderators of the deliberations were Mr Jean Claude NGUINGUIRI, FAO experts, Mr. Delphin MAPAGA, Deputy Director General of Forests and Marthe MAPANGOU, National Director of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The secretariat was run jointly by experts of the Ministry of Forestry and the Environment and from civil society (Conservation Justice). 

 

After the introductory session which framed the workshop and featured an overview of the evaluation framework devised by the FAO and the study report, the deliberations continued with a series of presentations. 

 

The presentations focused among other things on the findings of the ALEFI social missions (2014-2017), the engagement of local communities in National Park management: Progress and limitations, and a case study of community-based forest bee-keeping development projects.

 

Furthermore, the participants conducted a comprehensive review of the study report prepared by the national consultant. They divided into three (3) break-out groups to review the findings of the report on participatory forestry regimes, which focused respectively on: 

-Lots allocated to local populations in forest concessions under sustainable management regimes 

- Co-management of peripheral areas and buffer zones around protected areas; 

- Community forests. 

 

 

The results of the group work were presented in plenary session. It was found that the study broadly reflects the current situation, though some data still needed to be supplemented or checked.

 

 

For more information, please download the final communiqué below: Validation workshop to assess extent and effectiveness of participatory forestry 

 

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