Tropical dense rainforests are at the heart of many issues whose scope affects multiple stakeholders: local populations and governments, economic operators, Western consumers, and non-governmental organizations.
The actors of the wood sector from Central and West Africa are insufficiently informed, sensitized, and federated.
They have difficulty adapting to the requirements and seize the opportunities of western markets (evidence of legalities, efforts to fight against climate change, etc.)
The EU FLEGT Action Plan and the REDD+ mechanism of the UN Climate Convention are two different approaches to the challenges of deforestation and forest degradation. Synergies and interactions between the two initiatives exist.
Thus, in 2013, the ATIBT signed with the FFEM a first five-year financing agreement entitled “Integration of the tropical timber sector of Central and West Africa into FLEGT-REDD mechanisms” focused on 6 components:
Subsequently, ATIBT signed a second five-year Component 2 (FLEGT/VPA) financing agreement with the European Union, under the title “Strengthening the capacity of private sector forestry sector professional associations”.
In 2015, ATIBT signed a consortium with FRMI, as part of the project Support to the implementation of the VPA/FLEGT in the Republic of Congo. This project is managed by FRMI and ATIBT with a role of technical assistance focused on the actors of the private sector.
Finally, in 2018, ATIBT signed a convention with KFW through the PPECF/COMIFAC programme entitled “Improving the consideration of third-party verified certification in FLEGT REDD processes”. Indeed, it is recognized that the reinforcement of a legal context (through the implementation of FLEGT) favors and simplifies the processes of verified third-party certification, and facilitates the implementation of sustainable management.
Conversely, private legality certificates (OLB and Legal Source), which are increasingly taking into account in the due diligence process imposed by the EUTR since March 2013, prepare and consolidate an environment conducive to the establishment of FLEGT license.
Since 2004, some countries in Central and West Africa have expressed interest in the European FLEGT process.
The projects focus on Cameroon, and the Republic of Congo, which have already negotiated and concluded with the European Union a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).
This agreement concretises the implementation of a legality verification system (SVL) for timber production, regardless of destination, and the issuance of a “FLEGT license” for products for export to Europe.
The projects also focus on Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Côte d’Ivoire, which have not yet signed VPAs and are in the negotiation phase.
Because of its strategic positioning, ATIBT fully plays its role of facilitating negotiations, relaying communication for stakeholders and federating the industry.
Since 2013, ATIBT has benefited from several funding for the implementation of these projects:
Under Component 1, the main activities are conducting a REDD + comparative study on carbon certification. This study has shown that carbon certification is currently unprofitable. The activities focused on the analysis of innovative plantation opportunities. The studies are available in our media library.
In support of the FLEGT regulatory framework, ATIBT aims to strengthen the participation of the private sector in the negotiation process, in particular with the following main actions:
Under the EUTR, the role of ATIBT is to monitor and share news on the implementation of this regulation.
It also aims to raise the awareness of European stakeholders of the challenges of European harmonization of the EUTR and the role of private certifications in its implementation. ATIBT in partnership with ETTF manages the Timber Trade Portal platform which provides access to accurate and reliable information for the exercise of due diligence in the application of this EUTR.
As part of strengthening the professional associations of producing countries, ATIBT implements these projects jointly with its partners:
The beneficiaries of these projects are all the unions in the producing countries, the logging companies, all the actors in the timber sector, and the populations living near forest areas.