Governance, Flegt Redd and Certification

CONTEXT

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: (1) REDD +; (2): APV FLEGT; (3): Implementation of the EUTR; (4): Provision of relevant information on the EUTR: (5) Capitalization and dissemination of private sector experiences; and (6) Coordination of ATIBT.

Subsequently, ATIBT signed a second 5-year Component 2 (FLEGT / VPA) financing agreement with the European Union, under the title “Strengthening the capacity of private sector forestry sector professional associations”. Central and West Africa to allow a better integration of the latter in the FLEGT Action Plan ”

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. Project managed by FRMI and ATIBT with a role of technical assistance focused on the actors of the private sector.

Finally, in 2018, the ATIBT signed a convention with KFW through the PPECF/COMIFAC program 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.

GENERAL OBJECTIVES OF THESE PROJECTS

  • Make the private forest sector actively contribute to the sustainable management of tropical forests, to the socio-economic development of the target countries producing timber.
  • Strengthen the participation of the private sector in the implementation of FLEGT mechanisms in producing countries
  • Standardize the implementation of the EUTR in countries importing tropical timber.
  • Improve the legal level of companies
  • Develop legal and sustainable certification.

THE COUNTRIES CONCERNED

Some countries in Central and West Africa have since 2004 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 establishment of a legality verification system (SVL) for timber produced, 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 Ivory Coast, which have not yet signed VPAs and are in the negotiation phase.

Because of its strategic positioning, the ATIBT fully plays its role of facilitating negotiations, relaying communication for stakeholders and federating the industry.

THE FUNDING

Since 2013, ATIBT has benefited from several funding for the implementation of these projects:

THE MAIN ACTIONS OF THESE PROJECTS

  • Component 1: 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.
  •  Component 2: In support of the FLEGT regulatory framework, the ATIBT is to strengthen the participation of the private sector in the negotiation process, in particular with the main actions of:
    • Set up a reference person in each of the target countries to support partners in private sector representation;
    • Realize an inventory of private sector actors in the forest wood sector. The ATIBT goes to meet all the actors: Large companies, SMEs, actors with Asian capital, administrations, civil society;
    • Ensure and inform all stakeholders of new texts, new regulations;
    • Train the entire private sector to the opportunities and challenges related to VPA / FLEGT processes and different certification systems.
  • Component 3 and 4: Under the EUTR (European Wood Regulation), 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.

DIRECT PARTNERS

As part of strengthening the professional associations of producing countries, ATIBT implements these projects jointly with its partners:

  • In Gabon: UFIGA (Union of Industrial Foresters of Gabon and Aménagagistes)
  • In the Democratic Republic of Congo: the FIB (Federation of Industrial Wood)
  • In Cameroon: the GFBC (Grouping of the Wood Sector of Cameroon
  • In Ivory Coast: the SPIB (Union of Industrial Producers of Wood)

BENEFICIARIES

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 the fores