In Gabon, the working group that will deal with forestry standards, particularly the certification standard, was set up by the Gabonese Standards Agency (AGANOR) and was named "Comité Technique 8 Forêt-Bois". At the beginning of February, via a Zoom meeting, the Committee's Chairman and Vice-Chairman were elected by the 21 members of the Committee. They are respectively Fidèle MBA, Director of Industries at MINEF, and Françoise VAN DE VEN, General Delegate of UFIGA.
As indicated in the media Le Nouveau Gabon, the new standards that this committee will help set up, should enable the sustainable management of forest resources and position Gabon as one of the world leaders in certified tropical timber, not only in raw wood but also in processed wood products. Indeed, in its Plan for the acceleration of processing 2021-2023, presented last January, the country plans to encourage the local processing of its forest products. The wood processing industry sector is already relatively well developed in Gabon since the export of logs has been banned since 2010, and the country is the first African plywood producers.
Gabon relies on its forest-based sector to ensure the diversification of its economy. The Strategic Plan Emerging Gabon 2025 (PSGE) has a pillar "Green Gabon" which plans to develop the country's natural resources, in which forestry resources are very important since 85% of Gabon's area is covered by forest. The forestry sector should thus enable the creation of 50,000 new jobs within five years.