According to Le Nouveau Gabon, Gabon is relaunching the community forest allocation and management process after a 13-year interruption. The figures quoted below should be taken with caution as the process is currently underway.
On April 8, the ceremony for the signing and presentation of forest allocation and management agreements to 19 communities out of the 28 files selected and deemed eligible for the signing of agreements took place in Libreville. These 28 files had been submitted for examination by the national land allocation commission.
These files were selected following a preliminary study conducted on the forests. "We found that the community forests were poorly managed and we had to make a real diagnosis," said Ghislain Moussavou, Director General of Forests. "We also noted the quarrels and disputes between the populations, because even where there is no logging, the communities do not manage to live together. So we had to put them into associations, which is the best model for community forests. We presented these files to the national land commission, which verified that there were no conflicts. This is why the Commission gave a favorable opinion”.
These allocation agreements should enable these communities to benefit from State support. "We will help them identify solid and honest partners to ensure that there is a good sharing of the benefits of these forests. We will help them to get certified with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) which certifies forestry permits and which also has a module for community forests," said Minister of Water and Forests Lee White during the signing of the agreements.
To be continued.