On the occasion of the last Board of Directors meeting of our Association, last December 9, two entities have joined, UFIGA and Nature+.
One is the ASBL Nature+, a research office based in Gembloux, Belgium. Nature+ had presented its candidacy at the General Assembly on May 31, 2022, in Nantes, and it had been validated. This association is now a member of the Board of Directors and replaces ONF International, which has reached the end of its mandate. Mrs Cecilia JULVE, Director of Nature +, will be its representative.
The objectives of Nature+ are mainly (1) to promote a sustainable management of natural environments, in particular tropical forest ecosystems, (2) to support the training of professionals in the management of tropical natural environments.
The activities mainly concern development, research and training in forestry (silviculture, forest certification, biomass, carbon), conservation and wildlife management, while involving local populations (social forestry, FPIC, agroforestry).
The two essential approaches of Nature+ are the collaboration with local actors (local NGOs, certified forestry companies, protected area managers) and the close collaboration with the TERRA - Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech
The multidisciplinary team, led by Cecilia JULVE, is composed of experts with proven experience in Central Africa.
For the Union des Forestiers et Industriels du Bois du Gabon (UFIGA), a trade union of professionals in the forestry and wood industry, created on March 24, 2003, it is in fact a return to the ATIBT Board of Directors, after a one-year hiatus. The UFIGA has about fifteen members active both in forestry and wood processing. Its missions are essentially to verify the sustainable management of forest resources, ensure the legality and traceability of forest products marketed, intervene with public authorities to defend the general interests of its members, [...].
Jean-Marie NTOUTOUME will be the representative of UFIGA on the Board of ATIBT. After several years and functions in the Public Administration, the new General Delegate joined UFIGA in October 2021 following Françoise Van de Ven, who was herself a representative on the ATIBT Board. We are therefore in continuity. Graduated from Laval University (QC, Canada) in Wood Processing Engineering (Wood Engineering), the problems of development and mutation of the forest-wood sector on the continent are of great interest to him. In addition, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to which the operators of the sector, main ecological contributors via carbon sequestration in sustainably managed forest areas, will have to increasingly justify the eco-responsible character of their activities. Fortunately, UFIGA has anticipated this change of direction and almost all of the forest areas exploited by its members (nearly 3 million hectares) have either a certificate of legality or a certificate of sustainable management.