The 5th meeting of the Decision and Guidance Committee of the Program for the Promotion of Certified Forest Operations (PPECF) was held on 20 June 2017 in Douala, Cameroon.
Some twenty participants took part in this work: the COMIFAC Deputy Executive Secretariat, the GIF Support-COMIFAC Program, representatives of the Directions in charge of forests (Cameroon, DRC, CAR), CEFDHAC, KFW, FSC, forestry companies (Rougier Cameroon, Wijma Douala Sarl, Pallisco, CIFM and the Thanry Group), CIFOR and the PPECF management team (notably Romain Lorent, PPECF coordinator, but also Elie NGoa and Eric Dassie), as well as the ATIBT.
The Management Team recalled the objectives of the PPECF, presented the activities carried out from June 2016 to June 2017, reviewed the relevant activities in 2012 and 2017, highlighted the lessons learned from the first phase and presented the Guidelines for the PPECF II.
The representative of the FSC (Mathieu Auger-Schwartzenberg) stressed that the Program had played a key role in achieving and maintaining an estimated 5.6 million hectares of FSC-FM area and in adding a FSC-CW « Controlled Wood » area estimated at nearly 1 million ha at the end of phase I.
Some participants expressed surprise at the high level of implementation of the last AWPB. The Management Unit recalled that the Program was acting primarily on the basis of requests, so it was not surprising that they had almost all implemented them. This does not mean, however, that the final objective of an intervention has been achieved. According to program officials, it is more pertinent reasoning in terms of « milestones« . For example, Program support has actually had an impact on the development of the PAFC, but the final objective of a national (or sub-regional) PAFC standard has not yet been achieved (except in Gabon) .
The low number of interventions and requests received from Administrations and civil society (including parliamentarians, local communities, marginalized groups and federation platforms, among others) was noted again. In Phase II, civil society would like to be more informed about the PPECF contracting procedures.
The Committee acknowledged the support of PPECF in carrying out several major studies that could help to reinforce the impact of Phase II through targeted communication to companies, including: (i) the results of the cost-benefit study of forest certification; (ii) laboratory tests on the physical properties of several tropical promotional species; it should be remembered that this work was carried out with ATIBT.