Promote and Formalise Artisanal Timber Production in Central Africa (Promouvoir et Formaliser l’Exploitation Artisanale du bois en Afrique Centrale - PROFEAAC)

Project leader
Location Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon
Project status
Project start
Project end
In Central African countries, the annual production of informal artisanal timber (around 1.7 million cubic metres) consumed in domestic markets or officially exported into bordering countries is more than the production of timber by the industrial sector.Despite the consensus of its importance, attempts to better regulate artisanal logging remain rare in Central Africa, the sustainable management of forests generally being sought through the model of industrial logging concession.Despite its informality and illicit charges suffered by operators, artisanal logging is a profitable activity for the direct and indirect participants in the value chain in all countries studied. If several studies better demonstrate the socio-economic characteristics of the informal channels of artisanal logging, the environmental impacts of these activities remain unknown and very few measures are proposed to attenuate them, contrary for example to the firewood sector which has undergone numerous regulatory steps over several decades. The current state and future development of artisanal logging weakens the implementation of actions to sustainably manage the forestry resources engaged by the Central African states. Already of a remarkable scale, artisanal logging is going to manifestly grow over the coming years, pushed by development strategies elaborated by the Central African states, built on the growth of towns and the increase of agricultural and mining production The general objective of the project is to reduce the degradation of rural forests in Central Africa by formalising and rationalising artisanal logging using a pilot experiment in Cameroon and DRC.

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