Zoom on the priority axes of intervention and transverse axes

Priority Axis of Intervention 1: Harmonization of Forest and Environmental Policies

This axis has the objective to strengthen the governance public forest through, among others: (i) for the implementation of the coherence of policies and forest laws; (ii) the consolidation of the forest law enforcement; (iii) the promotion of governance and the Rationalization of trade (FLEGT); and (iv) the strengthening of the capacities of key institutions in order to promote the respect of the international and regional standards applicable in the field of trustee, social and environmental. The implementation strategy will build on the priority thematic areas:

– implementation of the agreements and international conventions;
– Implementation of consistency forest and environmental policies;
– strengthening and harmonization of policies, institutional frameworks and national laws;
– implementation of a concerted forest policy and legislation and national environmental.


Priority Axis of Intervention 2: management and sustainable exploitation of forest resources

It is clearly established that the forest massifs play a vital role in the safeguarding of the global environment. To this effect, the forests of Central Africa which constitute the second tropical forest area of the planet with an area estimated at 227 million hectares (FAO, 2005) have a strategic importance. These forests contain a floristic diversity and exceptional wildlife and contribute to the economies of countries and to the improvement of the livelihood of the local populations. Also, they provide environmental services overall.

Although With deforestation rates relatively low, these forests are subject to multiple threats (agro-industries, mining, infrastructure, transport, energy, conflicts, etc.) likely to jeopardize their sustainability. It is for this reason that it is important to continue the efforts to ensure the sustainable management of these ecosystems. A permanent dialog between the different national actors must be maintained to curb the environmental threats which weigh on the forests of the Congo Basin.

It is important as well through this Axis to generate the political will of the countries of the sub-region to develop and implement measures to alleviate the critical threats facing the forests of Central Africa.

On the other hand, operating methods used still generate significant losses after harvest and during the process of transformation, which increases the pressure on resources. These losses cause leakage of revenues. To this effect, it is essential to ensure the sustainability of forest resources of Central Africa, to work for a farm to low impact and a further transformation which would provide a more value to forest products from the Central Africa.

Such is the context in which is developed this axis of intervention in the management and sustainable exploitation of forest resources and whose priority thematic areas are the following:

– Forest Resources inventories: Wood – Wildlife – NTFPS /medicinal plants, genetic resources;
– strengthening and/or establishment of national observatories and regional;
– installation of the follow-up geo-spatial of forest resources;
– Under development of permanent forest estates and all other types of forests;
– Zoning and securing forest territories;
– Knowledge of economic values of forest resources;
– Economic valorisation of channels : wood, wildlife, NTFPS, tourism;
– the development, adoption and implementation of the national plans Of the industrialization of the timber industry;
– organization of craft channels and channels non-timber forest products (NTFPS);
– promotion of the contribution of NTFPS to national and local economies;
– legality and forest certification.


Priority Axis of Intervention 3: Conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity

The Central Africa renfermeune remarkable biological diversity. Efforts have been made by the countries of Central Africa to maintain this biodiversity. However, threats to the preservation of this heritage persist. Indeed, the main engines of the deforestation and the degradation of biological diversity identified to this day are related to factors such as population growth and rapid urbanization, mining, agribusiness, forestry, the collection and production of charcoal and fuelwood, the infrastructural development (transport), etc. These factors exert more and more on increasing biodiversity and with a decisive impact on the future of the ecosystems concerned, the fact of the overlap between the different uses

this axis of intervention is based on the priority thematic areas:
– strengthening of the network of protected areas national and cross-border is representative of all of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems;
– development of protected areas ;
– Concerted management of areas and transboundary protected areas;
– ecological monitoring of biodiversity in protected areas and outside;
– exploitation of genetic resources;
– follow-up to the management and use of resources/control;
– development of ecotourism;
– fight against the illicit exploitation of forest resources, poaching and the wildlife crime;
– Valorization/protection of traditional knowledge


Priority Axis of Intervention 4: fight against the effects of climate change and desertification

The climate of the planet is increasingly disrupted, with the consequences both on human health and on the means of subsistence, as well as on species and ecosystems. In addition, the areas of arable agricultural land decreases in an irreversible way.

These major changes are now topical, and force is to see that today the climatic seasons are disturbed, the rainfall defies all the observations made during the last thirty years, the mists of dust are more and more visible and the temperatures are much more accentuated, etc. Similarly, there is a significant degradation of soils due to the advance of the desert.

In the face of these threats, it becomes more urgent for the international community as a whole and the COMIFAC in particular, to respond consistently and sustainable through the priority thematic areas:
– regeneration and reforestation;
– development and implementation of national strategies for adaptation to climate change;
– development and implementation of mitigation measures to climate change;
– fight against land degradation and desertification.


Priority Axis of Intervention 5: Socio-economic development and participation in multi-actors

The major issue for this axis of intervention is to promote at the country level a growth generator of jobs and revenue for the greatest number of people. It is to improve the contribution of the forest sector in the socio-economic development of the populations.

Similarly, the governments of the Member States and the partners at the national and sub-regional levels have opted for the participatory process in the development and implementation of the Convergence Plan. This process that will allow the associate the greater number of actors (public and private sectors, civil society, the development partners,…) is the pledge to the times of its ownership by all stakeholders and a major asset for the success of the objectives assigned to this axis of intervention.

The priority thematic areas developed around this axis of intervention are the following:
– activities alternatives to poaching;
– Micro-income-generating projects for local and indigenous people;
– participation of actors;
– involvement of local populations and indigenous peoples;


Priority Axis of Intervention 6: Sustainable Funding

The success of all policies and all the plans of action of forest management is conditioned by the availability of financial resources. The efforts for the funding of forest management have been made these last decades by the States of the sub-region. Also financial support have been made by the partners for the implementation of the Convergence Plan.

In spite of these efforts, important needs for the financing of the Convergence Plan remain. It is for this reason that it is appropriate to explore, put in place and operationalize the sustainable financing mechanisms for the conservation and management of forest ecosystems.

Indeed, the financing of the COMIFAC and its Plan of convergence should be ensured by a compulsory contribution of the Member States according to a principle egalitarian or in accordance with a funding mechanism indexed on a rate of the taxs applied to products imported from third countries.
In addition to the efforts of Member States, the support of the international community, the private sector, will contribute to the financing of the Convergence Plan. The strategy will build on the priority thematic areas:
– Establishment and Operationalization of the Forest Fund and national environmental;
– of innovative funding mechanisms (taxs of conversion of surfaces, debt for nature swaps etc.);
– sustainable financing mechanisms;
– bilateral and multilateral.

Transverse Axes
In addition to the priority axs of intervention, three (3) transverse axs have been defined. The transverse character of these axs is linked to the nature of the prescribed actions which contribute to the achievement of the strategic objectives of the priority axs of intervention. In effect, the operations relating to the training of managers and forest officials, strengthening the capacities of actors, applied research and finally communication and education have a transverse character. These operations are therefore necessary for the satisfactory completion of the strategic objectives of the priority axs of intervention.

The implementation of these transverse axs should also contribute to the ownership of the Convergence Plan by all stakeholders, but also and especially, would create and maintain a dialog permanant between the different actors at the national and sub-regional.

In order to contribute to the achievement of the strategic objectives sus-statements, the transverse axs are composed of operational objectives, expected results and indicators.

Transverse Axis 1: Training and Capacity Building
The vocational training suffers from a disparity between the programs of the various institutions of the sub-region, which makes it somewhat difficult to exchange between learners on the one hand, and on the other hand, professional mobility between countries. Similarly, new concepts of sustainable management are still insufficiently taken into account in the training modules.

In spite of these shortcomings, advances have been recorded in recent years in the field of training, in particular, the existence of a mapping of the training institutions of the same that guidelines sub-regional training forest and environmental.
To ensure the taking into account of new concepts or new challenges of the forest sector-environment, the lessons provided in vocational training institutions must respond directly to the request and to the needs of users that they are public or private, which is not yet the case in the sub-region. These institutions do not have also of necessary resources. In addition, very few of these institutions have developed a partnership with the private sector where the need to create or strengthen the professional centers of training in the Trades Wood and NTFPS in particular. In this perspective, the RIFFEAC organizes and federates the institutions to accompany the revision of modules in the programs of forestry training and environmental and ensure the consistency of this revision.

Transverse Axis 2: research-development

The Forest Research is the poor parent of the research in Central Africa. It is not sufficiently funded and is evolving in a dispersed manner from one country to the other, while the problems are often similar. Also, with a few exceptions, the research activities are little connected to the direct concerns of States, of enterprises in the private sector or civil society.

It is through this transverse axis to ensure that the results of research work to respond to the needs of the actors in the short, medium and long terms. Synergies must be developed between the stakeholders with a view to the exploitation of the results of the research to the development. Similarly, the research should benefit from the collaboration of partner institutions and the support of the users of its results.
It is necessary to this fact that operational partnerships are being forged, multiply and are becoming more widespread in the sub-region between the universities, the specialized agencies of research, economic operators, users of new knowledge, civil society, the development partners and the States holders of the natural heritage.

Transverse Axis 3: Communication, awareness, information and education
of many vectors of modern communications have been developed in recent years at the national and subregional levels to inform the general public on various issues. In spite of these advances, there is always a deficit of communication in the field of conservation and sustainable management of forests. This is at the origin of a sub-Information of the general public, or even a disinformation of international opinion on the realities of forest management in Central Africa.

Although the administrations in charge of forests are equipped of cells in charge of the communication, the texts governing the forest sector or any other information on the sector and the environment remain poorly, or even little or not known by the actors themselves on the field. In addition, many tools and communication media have been able to be developed by the COMIFAC in the framework of its communication strategy in order to make known the institution and inform on the performance of the implementation of the Convergence Plan. This strategy in the course of the update should allow on the one hand to the COMIFAC develop tools for marketing and popularization of the Convergence Plan, and on the other hand, to the countries to draw inspiration to develop their own strategies.

It is necessary that the efforts in the field of communication, awareness, information and education are prosecuted or strengthened. As well, each actor in the sub-region will need to develop appropriate strategies to publicize its achievements, share its experiences, strengthen the accession and the participation of stakeholders in the sustainable management of forest ecosystems.

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