Private sector initiatives against deforestation presented by ATIBT at FAO in February


ATIBT was invited to present the private sector initiatives at the side event « Using policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks to address deforestation: lessons learned from the FLEGT Approach » in the context of the conference « Halting Deforestation » organized by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) at FAO Headquarters in Rome from 20 to 22 February.


Nearly half of all tropical deforestation is caused by illegal land conversion and addressing illegality has been demonstrated to be an effective way of reducing deforestation. This means that any effort to tackle deforestation needs to have as a foundation a clear regulatory framework that is effectively enforced. Through more than 10 years’ of practical implementation of the EU’s FLEGT Action Plan, it has been shown that clarification and reform of the legal framework can be enhanced by a participatory stakeholder approach at national level.


This side event « Using policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks to address deforestation: lessons learned from the FLEGT Approach » brought together the participants of the conference to explore how FLEGT has helped to achieve legal clarity and bring about associated reforms, and improve law enforcement in the forest sector, and to understand how to build on the lessons learned from efforts to stop deforestation.


ATIBT was asked to provide concrete examples of how the private sector is working to reduce the incidence of deforestation.


Here are the highlights of this presentation:


  • The private sector contributes to the economic value of tropical forests, and allows a forest economy to develop, thus avoiding conversion of these forests to agricultural land;
  • Development Plans allow long-term planning of operations (a rotation of at least 20 years renewable), to better program sampling, to reflect on the impact of the exploitation to take what the forest can produce. (production based on stand regeneration capacities, reconstitution rate, limited production in stem number – 1 to 2 trees / ha or volume …)
  • The control of the accesses of the track and the perimeter, along with action of sensitization and setting up of agro forestry series within the UFA makes it possible to circumscribe the development of the agriculture cut down brulis.
  • The control of illegal activities within concessions (agricultural clearing, illegal logging …) to protect the space granted to them reduces these activities.
  • The RIL (Reduced Impact Loggingsee RIL ATIBT Terea study and RIL video) methods still make it possible to mitigate the impact of the exploitation (width of the roads, optimization of the length of the tracks, limitation of the damage of exploitation …)
  • The SFM (Sustainable Forest Management) certification still allows to go further by controlling access to the road network and avoiding the installation of farmers along the roads.
  • Some ways still remain to explore:
    • more efficient exploitation of the farm with less pressure on certain species,
    • more species diversity exploited (LKTS – Lesser known Timber Species – see the ATIBT project LKTS 2020 ) to increase the volume taken per hectare and reduce the area covered


The legal and certified private sector helps maintain forest areas in Central African countries, maintain biodiversity and maintain 90% carbon stock and environmental services.

The main idea conveyed is that, contrary to popular belief, logging under development and respecting the legality secures large forest areas in the long term and avoids deforestation and land conversion (see on this subject the TV report on the management of tropical forests with the University of Gembloux).