PRESS RELEASE: Rougier Brings Total Area FSC Certified in Cameroon Above 1 Million Hectares
Yaoundé, Cameroon, 27 March 2013 – The total Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified area in Cameroon has exceeded 1 million hectares with the certification of three forest management units (FMU) managed by the Société Forestière et Industrielle de la Doumé (SFID), a Rougier subsidiary and participant in WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN). The three FMUs, covering 285 667 ha are located in the Mbang area of eastern Cameroon, home to the Baka community, considered one of the oldest residents of Cameroon’s rainforests. These forests are also rich in biodiversity. This award marks the first substantial increase of FSC certified area in the Congo Basin in several years.
“We congratulate Rougier on this achievement and salute their commitments to responsible forest management in the Congo Basin. It’s also important Rougier and Cameroonian authorities work together to maintain elephant populations in these forests considering the recent documented massacres in the Congo Basin” said Daniel Tiveau, Regional GFTN Manager for Central Africa. “FSC is the best forest management assurance system around and is recognized as the top level of commitment by leading environmental NGOs operating within the tropical forest industry.” FSC certification ensures the forest management is 1) environmentally appropriate – protecting and maintaining natural communities and high conservation value forests, 2) socially beneficial – respecting the rights of workers, communities and indigenous peoples and 3) economically viable – building markets, adding best value and creating equitable access to benefits.
WWF/GFTN has supported SFID since October 2009 in establishing an action plan to achieve FSC certification, supporting local and indigenous peoples on community development, building the capacity of the Local Consultation Framework (Comité Paysan Forêts) and has provided training on conflict resolution.
In working towards FSC certification, SFID has improved their internal management procedures through better documentation of their work, and have undergone third party assessment. “Many years ago, Rougier entered into a voluntary process of certification in which the group invested heavily in order to enhance its production on the international market. Through our efforts in matters of certification, we wish to consolidate our positions on the developing markets for certified products,” said Rougier CEO Francis Rougier.
WWF is currently undertaking research to identify barriers for forest certification and is committed to helping companies overcome them.
« Managing forests responsibly is the best way to ensure a better future for people and biodiversity, and buying certified products from the Congo Basin is the best way markets can influence forest management in the region, » Tiveau said.
For Further Information: Daniel Tiveau (WWF) - DTiveau@wwfcarpo.org
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
The Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) is WWF’s initiative to eliminate illegal logging and drive improvements in forest management while transforming the global marketplace into a force for saving the world’s valuable and threatened forests. First established in 1991, GFTN is the world’s longest-running and largest forest and trade program of its kind – assisting hundreds of companies in evaluating their procurement and implementing appropriate action plans to ensure responsible sourcing as well as sustainable supply. GFTN works with companies to help them progress towards responsible forest management through a solutions-oriented stepwise approach, which is both collaborative in its methods and challenging in its objectives. By facilitating trade links between companies committed to responsible forestry, GFTN also plays a key role in creating market conditions that help conserve forests while providing economic and social benefits for the businesses and people that depend on them.
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