ATIBT support to the timber sector in Cameroon


The ATIBT is involved in supporting Cameroon's forestry companies and domestic market players with the project "Support to the private forestry sector and the timber industry in Cameroon for the Green Pact (ASP- PV)".

Credit : Imageo - ATIBT

The launching ceremony will take place on February 24, in Yaoundé.

With the support of the European Union, the ATIBT has been implementing since the beginning of 2023 the project "Support to the private forestry sector and the timber industry in Cameroon for the Green Pact (ASP- PV)". This project is part of the European Development Fund's Program for Improving Forest Governance (PAMFOR) in Cameroon, which aims to exploit and export timber legally and contribute to the restoration of forest cover through sustainable and inclusive forest management.

This project will also be accompanied by the Cameroon-based consultancy firm JMN Consultants and will run for a period of 3 years.

Credit : Imageo - ATIBT

This action will help the Cameroonian forestry sector face various challenges: the announced end of log exports, the adoption of the European Regulation against Imported Deforestation, the inclusion of new species in CITES, among others, which require support to the sector in order to help it manage these changes.

Support to companies committed to sustainability and transparency will be implemented to help them evolve towards excellence in sustainable natural resource management in the harvesting, processing and trading of wood. This support will be provided in the form of joint reflections with the beneficiaries, access to existing information, expertise and customized diagnoses according to the needs of the companies.

The ATIBT has capitalized over the years a set of information and significant expertise that will be shared in a way adapted to the context of each company, and this will be accompanied by additional punctual expertise mobilized on the required topics.

In addition, this project will help prepare the transition towards the cessation of log exports and towards 100% processing by 2025, which is considered realistic by the Cameroonian authorities.

The ASP-PV project includes an important component aimed at supporting the domestic timber market, which should evolve towards sustainable purchases, in line with the objectives set by the Cameroonian Ministry of Forests and Wildlife (MINFOF).

Credit : Imageo - ATIBT

According to figures announced by CIFOR for Cameroon, artisanal sawmilling is a vital activity for tens of thousands of Cameroonians, both urban and rural. In recent years, this sector has become as important as the industrial forestry sector, creating thousands of direct jobs. In total, 40,000 to 45,000 people are involved in this activity in rural areas, generating more than CFAF 32 billion. The majority of informal sawnwood production is sold on the Cameroonian market, and a small part (7%) is exported.

In terms of volumes, research conducted by CIFOR indicates that if artisanal sawnwood production sold on the domestic market is included in national statistics, total national production would reach 4.3 million m3 per year.

The domestic market is also supplied with raw materials of very diverse quality, most often much lower than that which is legally exported. The pressure on the resource is strong and the socio-economic stakes are high. The structuring of an internal timber market has not yet led to concrete results, despite the desire to implement a public timber purchasing policy in order to draw the processing sector towards a higher quality of wood. Therefore, the ASP-PV project will aim to support the domestic timber sector towards a more structured and developed market, for example with the development of the physical sites of the MIB, the operationalization of the virtual market or the development of the charcoal sector from sawmill waste.