The scientific community of Central Africa Brainstorms on the Major Orientations of Forestry Research for the Next Years in the Congo Basin
Through the workshop of the 27 and 28 February 2012, (1) research priorities were defined; (2) discussions on the organization of coordination and cooperation between stakeholders were tackled and mentioned several mechanisms such as the putting in place of a network, a giant programme, platforms and other liaison means among institutions, among research teams and among researchers; (3) the importance of supporting research policies in Congo Basin countries was underlined; (4) the need for sustained and regular funding deemed essential to ensure the quality and the impact of research was reminded.
Douala (Cameroon), 27-28 February 2012: In prelude to the meetings of “Partners of Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP)" (from 29 February to 2 March 2012), took place at SAWA Hotel in Douala, Cameroon, the workshop on “Forest Ecosystems Research within the COMIFAC zone". The workshop was in line with the 8th point of COMIFAC Convergence Plan dedicated to Research-Development. The dialogue initiated will be completed by end 2012 by an appraisal of forestry research in the Congo Basin, funded by PACEBCo.
Co-organized by COMIFAC Executive Secretariat, CIFOR, CIRAD, and IRD and supported by CBFP Facilitation, this workshop brought together representatives of the scientific community in Central Africa in order to define the major orientations of forestry research for the next years. It also helped to discuss the main research themes on Forest Ecosystems with the key actors of sustainable forest management especially public authorities, the private sector and the civil society.
The specific objectives were:
♦ To identify priority topics relating to common forestry research for the next 10 years in COMIFAC countries
♦ To propose sustainable strategies, synergies and partnerships for a better forestry research within COMIFAC countries
♦ To identify sustainable funding mechanisms for forestry research within the COMIFAC zone.
The opening ceremony was marked by a welcome address by CIFOR Regional Coordinator for Central Africa, CIRAD and IRD representative and CBFP Facilitation. The official opening was marked by the speech of COMIFAC E.S. representative.
The approach adopted during this workshop consisted in exposés, discussions, group work and country workshop. This workshop included nine sessions.
The workshop enabled:
♦ A sharing of information, knowledge and experiences among researchers, the civil society, decision-makers and donors in order to encourage the various actors involved in forestry research within the COMIFAC zone;
♦ To have information on the state of forestry research in Congo Basin countries;
♦ To discuss synergies and partnerships in relation to forestry research
♦ To develop discussions on sustainable funding mechanisms for forestry research
♦ To identify and tackle forestry research themes in order of priority for the next 10 years within the COMIFAC zone.
♦ To identify concrete proposals to be submitted to policy-makers in order to optimize consideration of forestry research in their funding priorities;
♦ To reflect on the possibilities of harmonizing forestry research networks within the Congo Basin
Following the different exposés, discussions, group work and restitutions, recommendations were formulated by the different actors and consigned in an act called “Workshop Communiqué” prepared by participants mainly during group work. These recommendations are classified into three groups namely: (1) synergies and partnership; (2) Priority Research themes; (3) Funding
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