The ATIBT’s forest-industry commission met on Thursday 18 June in a small group to establish a common strategy to prepare the renewal of the management plans.
The participants of the meeting were field managers from companies based in Gabon, Cameroon and Congo, which were pioneers in the elaboration of development plans in the late 1990s and early 2000s and whose first rotation is ending in the coming years.
The overall assessment is positive, management plan is considered by all the companies as an essential tool for planning their harvests and the companies are satisfied with the gross harvest forecasts.
However, the actual harvest is significantly lower than the possibility offered by the management plans, mainly due to the difficulty of valuing profitably the « secondary » or « lesser-known » species and lower quality trees because of selling prices and costs (particularly those related to transport).
This appears to be the major challenge in the implementation of second rotation management plans, the solution will require further industrialization.
The social and environmental aspects of forest management have been largely developed by these companies, such as aid for local development, consultation with local populations, anti-poaching, etc…
Research will be conducted, particularly the DYNAFOR and P3FAC projects, to complete knowledge on species dynamics according to forest types and management methods.
ATIBT also intends to approach the administrations in charge of forests and will offer its support for the preparation of specific regulations for the renewal of management plans, in line with the States’ willingness to develop local wood processing.