The dense tropical rainforest In West Africa, more specifically located in the Congo Basin, is the second lung of the Earth, after Amazonia. In this respect, its role in carbon storage is essential in a context of global warming. This forest also plays a major role for all the Bantu and Pygmy communities, who derive the bulk of their livelihoods from the forest.
Many stakeholders are concerned by the issues concerning these forests (population, companies, local administrations, NGOs). They relate to both the environmental and social aspects (climate change, biodiversity, poverty…) and economic aspects (jobs and forest revenues, local development, government revenues).
In this context, the industrial exploitation of the dense tropical rainforest is a major business sector.
However, few companies are encouraged to take on a legal status and therefore cannot effectively contribute to the economic, ecological and social development of producing countries. To address these issues, the FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) and REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) processes offer the private sector opportunities, by providing sources of financing and improving the governance of the forestry sector.
The program is based on five components:
- Promote the involvement of the private forestry sector in the REDD+ mechanism with a participatory approach: mobilize the sector with a common voice, which will be heard in the context of national negotiations on the REDD+ strategy in producing countries, through a participatory approach (workshops, pilot initiatives, experience sharing).
- Private sector involvement in the negotiations of the Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA) of the FLEGT Action Plan: preparation and dissemination of information documents, organization of meetings and blank tests of the legality, with the aim of increasing the participation of all the stakeholders in the process and improving procedures related to the control of the legality.
- Support for the harmonious establishment of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR): organization of workshops, exchange meetings and field initiatives between key stakeholders, in order to harmonize national approaches for the implementation of the EUTR.
- Provision of information to facilitate the implementation of the EUTR: capitalization on and provision of information in order to help stakeholders in the tropical wood sector to follow the legality procedures.
- Capitalize on private sector experience thanks to the other components: collect information (thanks to the previous components) in order to be able to present the vision and positioning of the private tropical wood sector on the FLEGT and REDD+ mechanisms and feed into the debate.
By allowing private sector involvement in the negotiation and implementation of the FLEGT and REDD+ processes, the project promotes private sector participation in sustainable forest management and puts forward the new opportunities offered for private sector projects.
- The meeting of key stakeholders in the implementation of the EUTR raises awareness of the importance of harmonizing national approaches to implementation and supporting forest certification, which ensures sustainable forest management.
- The outcomes of the project are capitalized on and are subject to an exchange of experiences during international meetings.
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