The African Model Forest Network (AMFN) –Tangible successes: representative governance, agricultural revolution and forest sustainability


Increasing agricultural yield using mycorrhizal organic fertilizers to buttress populations’ food security and ensuring climate change adaptation," "Restoring the landscape and its expressions through a Model Forest in North-Western Rwanda, "" Experimenting with the eco-village Concept by establishing aquaculture training facilities within Model Forests, "" Developing local processing, packaging and commercialization of wood and non-wood forest products and by-products of wood...



Please download the full article in PDF format: Le Réseau africain de Forêts Modèles (RAFM) – Succès palpables : gouvernance représentative, révolution agricole et durabilité des forêts 


The Model Forest process



… worldwide


It is over 20 years now since Model Forests came into being in the world. Having been experimented in Canada in the early 90s, the concept was adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 as a key approach to conflict management and participatory, integrated and sustainable governance of large forest areas. Since 1994, a large international network has taken shape, with the establishment of the International Model Forest Network (IMFN) and its Secretariat established in 1995 ...

 Model Forests are all based on the same fundamental principles (Territories, Partnerships, Sustainability, Governance, Activity program, networking and knowledge sharing; while remaining unique, independent and underpinned by locally established priorities.


… and in Africa


…the AMFN Secretariat has since 2010 embarked on the process of expanding and creating new African Model Forests, particularly in the Congo Basin countries. With the governments’ backing, there are nine (9) Model Forests currently under development in Cameroon (2), the DRC (4), CAR (1) Rwanda (1) and Congo Brazzaville (1) ...


...Nearly 20 countries have already voiced interest in developing the Model Forest approach in Africa with some already involved in the development of African Model Forests. These currently include the following North African countries:  Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.


At the heart of its economic agenda


One of the founding principles of Model Forests is a "broad program of activities", aimed at achieving the Model Forest vision. Thus, specific projects and economic activities must feed into the territorial dialogue of the governance structure in order to crystallize the values ​​of Model Forests and multi-stakeholder collaboration, in addition to engaging industry and other key players in the landscape. In the African context, compliance with another basic principle of Model Forests "commitment to sustainability", can only be effective if the socio-economic situation of local populations is improved and an operational economic growth program is set up.


… AMFN’s "One programme"


The AMFN’s ''One program'' is a tool for aligning partnerships, roles and strategic visions towards achieving the priorities of Model Forests. It highlights economic issues that not adequately addressed in the IMFN Strategic Plan...


… a life-supporting programme


 The African Model Forest Network, in its approach to economic governance, favors a business-driven approach over the traditional model of fixed-term development projects. According to AMFN after 50 years of independence, aid and development projects have failed to deliver in terms of poverty alleviation and actual economic development.


Sustainability infrastructure of Model Forests


Diversity of strategic partners  


... The partnership component developed by the AMFN Secretariat is a cross-cutting activity, as it focuses on all seven aspects of its strategic plan. In its first three years, contacts have been established and operational cooperation agreements signed with local, national, sub-regional, regional and international partners...


Model Forests Practical Itinerant School

Since August 2011, the African Model Forest Network has started a series of training-support courses in both of Cameroon’s Model Forests which are known as Model Forest Practical Itinerant Schools (PIS). In its current stage, the PIS comprise two main modules; Business Management and Creation and Participatory Monitoring-Evaluation...



Business creation and management course

As part of the PIS, the Secretariat of the African Model Forest Network has developed courses in Business Creation and Leadership courses adapted to African rural settings. Far from being a blueprint executed in Model Forests, it is rather a basic iterative framework which is adaptable in time and space....


Training in conflict management

Training in conflict management is a key aspect of the Model Forests consolidation strategy. Through these training courses, AMFN seeks to develop capacities for assessing conflicts and tensions to determine the best applicable strategy for project management and help MF (Model Forest) players to leverage the conflict as a development tool. The aim is to canvass the needs expressed by participants prior to placing them under modules scheduled. Local experience in conflict resolution.



Training program for handicraft trainers based on the development of non-timber forest species (rattan, bamboo, straw)



From mastery of entrepreneurship to mastery of production techniques


This program is part of the PIS dynamics (Model Forests Practical Itinerant School).


Participatory Monitoring-Evaluation (PEM-multistakeholder)


For better mastery of changes in forest landscapes and the impacts on Model Forest sites, the AMFN Secretariat and its partners have organized themselves to conduct monitoring on three levels ... This PEM approach developed by the AMFN Secretariat and its partners in September takes the following variables into account: the natural environment, livelihoods, organizational and institutional development, and lastly a mapping of effects / impacts arising from model forest development.


Network of Female Entrepreneurs in African MFs (RFI-AMFN)

Women are one of the most vibrant groups of actors driving the success of Model Forests. From 2012, women from all Model Forests under development in the Congo Basin (Cameroon, DRC, CAR, Congo and Rwanda) including women from Model Forest in the Maghreb (Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco) decided to merge their efforts and businesses within a Network. This initiative is the first of its kind in the general context of Model Forests.


The Model Forest Green Business Label


Implemented since April 2011, the Model Forest label process has emerged as a lever for building local economy dynamics. This is an endogenous process, reflecting local actors’ willingness for self-building and production of environmental, social, cultural, economic quality and for governance with a view to conquering the market ...


Engaging micro-finance institutions


With micro-finance institutions, AMFN works from a cash flow perspective. This approach prioritizes local actors in order to strengthen their capacities in terms of access to credit, liquidity, reimbursement, optimization of their businesses. In fact in AMFN’s view, Africa has millions of producers, who are potential customers of financial institutions. However, they scarcely have access to the micro-finance institutions which are often not attuned to their realities ...


A few priority projects: "success stories"


The B-ADAPT project: boosting local businesses to ensure food security and climate resilience


♦ Working in consultation with various Ministries

♦ Training and capacity building

♦ The project has provided training and capacity building for:


  • 11 Focal points or community leaders and 250 Model Farmers in charge of popularizing the good practices and lessons learned on production techniques using  bio-fertilizers, improved seeds, non conventional livestock rearing and NFTP-based production.
  • 07 MINADER officials in the Southern Region and 04 MINADER officials in the Eastern Region and 24 other Expert Facilitators of the project on improved agronomic techniques (row planting, integrated soil fertility management, establishment and maintenance of hotbeds, improved fallowing and use of mycorrhizal and rhizobium bio-fertilizers).


♦ Distributing bio-fertilizers and improved seeds to “model farmers”

250 model farmers have received assistance in the South (150) and East (100) Regions in the form of mycorrhizal and rhizobium bio-fertilizers, peanut, cajanus, corn, okra and pepper seeds, leafy vegetable seeds and cassava cuttings.


The ecomuseum project: the Dipikar king tree


An eco-museum project is under development at the Campo Ma'an National Park through a partnership with the Kudu-Zombo Park Conservation Office and WWF. The chief aim of the project is to transform depictions of the Campo Ma'an National Park, (often wrongly perceived as a source of livelihood for local communities that have been plundered by governments and international organizations) and to present it as a vast natural museum. Clearly, the idea is to promote innovative initiatives that can change perceptions and traditional attitudes towards the park, to be viewed not as a source of stress and poverty ...


Natural resources and traditional knowledge development Project (VaRNaST)


 The VaRNaST project is part of AMFN’s "One Programme". It is being developed with the support of Lake Saint Jean Model Forest and aims to: 1) promote and develop NTFP channels in the Campo -Ma'an( CAMAMF )  and Dja & Mpomo ( FOMOD )  Model Forests 2) Create two sacred parks in both of Cameroon’s Model Forests 3) Implement a communication campaign ( media / communication which will cover all stages of the project ) 4) Identify and secure the legitimate rights of indigenous and local communities, 5) Identify and secure intellectual property rights over traditional knowledge developed for natural resources exploitation. Local ownership of these projects demonstrates the value of the Model Forest as a long-term vehicle for promoting projects, and highlights the need to capitalize on the economic potential of good forest governance. Over the past five years, the Model Forest has emerged as an innovative approach to participatory governance, multi-stakeholder territorial dialogue and public-private partnerships in simultaneously addressing the challenges of poverty, deforestation and climate change mitigation....


Kindly download the full PDF article: Le Réseau africain de Forêts Modèles (RAFM) – Succès palpables : gouvernance représentative, révolution agricole et durabilité des forêts 


Authors : Julie Gagoé, Jean Claude Njomkap, Chimère Diaw et Gabriel Sarasin (AMFN Secretariat)

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