From May 27 to 28,2015, a team of the VPA-FLEGT project of the Association of Community Forests of Kadey (ASFOCKA), implemented by CARFAD, took part in a workshop on Community Forestry in Central Africa held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
This regional workshop was aimed at identifying, based on the assessment of community forestry in the COMIFAC countries, mechanisms to better take into account the economic and social specificities of community forestry in the development of regulatory frameworks of the forest sector in Central Africa.
The workshop brought together representatives of the communities managing forest in Cameroon and Gabon, heads of forestry administrations in charge of forests managed by communities and in charge of VPA-FLEGT in Cameroon, Gabon, Congo and DRC, members of the Committee of Experts on the theme « decentralized forest management » Labour Forest Governance Group (GTGF) COMIFAC, NGOs and international cooperation agencies active in Central Africa in the areas of community management forests, private sector organizations involved in the operation / marketing of wood from community forests.
During the workshop, Mr. Benjamin Tchoffo, Executive Director of CARFAD presented the experience of the organization in the management of community forests. It appears that community forests have the potential to help improve the incomes of communities, but that access to legal markets and governance in the revenue management need to be improved.
During the workshop the following key recommendations for the development of community forestry in Central Africa and whose implementation will be followed by forest governance working group of COMIFAC were also brought up (i) adapt regulatory frameworks defining the modalities of attribution and forest management, taking into account the institutional realities and capacities of communities; (ii) promoting support by governments and the private sector, the starting capital for the establishment of forests managed by communities, or find alternative solutions (financing, credit, micro-credits , etc.); (iii) facilitate the legal production, local processing of products from forests managed by communities and also facilitate trade; (iv) improve the technical supervision of communities by decentralized forest administrations in the allocation process and forest management; (V) put in place regional instruments that will permit countries to develop rules and tools for the management of forests by communities.