Decree No. 84/2020 of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea dated on the 15th of september indicates that "operators in the timber sector have continued to systematically cut prohibited species and to export logs" despite Decree 7/2017 which regulated the logging of certain species.
The decree also peaks to the "disregard by forest operators of national and international regulations, beyond the minimum authorized diameter" and adding that they "thus endanger the ecosystem; practices that directly threaten the survival of animal species that live in the natural environment of our forests ”. In addition, the decree underlines that logging trucks destroy, because of their tonnage, road infrastructure and bridges.
As a result, a number of decisions are taken, in particular the prohibition of logging throughout the national territory and the felling of "protected tree species such as OVENG and others", including logging. forest of communal forests. These forests must be the subject of a request to the ministry in charge of forests, indicating the quantity of cubic meters needed and the purpose of its use. This activity can be supervised, in which case all the wood will be transformed on the national territory.
According to Olman Serrano, ATIBT President and former FAO Representative in Equatorial Guinea, this decision responds to the government’s commitment to improve the sustainable management of its resources. He recalled that the country has officially launched in July 2020 its REDD+ National Investment Plan (PNI-REDD+), in the framework of the National Plan for Sustainable Development 2035. This Plan is contributing to the redirection of the national development model of the country towards a more sustainable path, in which economic development and conservation of natural resources are reconcilable objectives, even in a context of multiple challenges, including the COVID19 pandemic.
It would be very important to assist the government of Equatorial Guinea, the private sector and local communities in progressing towards sustainability principles.