Cross-Border Illegal and Illicit Forest Product Flow in the Great Lakes Region: a concern for COMIFAC and CBFP
From 22 to 24 November 2010, a workshop held at the Hôtel Club Lac Tanganyika of Bujumbura (Burundi) under the theme “Cross-Border Timber Flows in the Great Lakes Region in the Context of FLEGT Action Plan”. This workshop was organised by FAO through its support programme to ACP countries for the implementation of FLEGT action plan (ACP-FLEGT programme) with the support of PFBC partners (COMIFAC, CIFOR, UICN, EU). This event brought together experts from Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and DRC, members of administrations, the civil society, the private sector and international and sub-regional bodies operating in the domain of forestry, to examine the serious problem of illegal timber trade in the Great Lakes region.
In fact, beyond observations made these past years on the importance of this trade and its economic, social and environmental consequences, the need to gather the different countries and actors concerned by this problem was recently stressed through the DRC joining of PVAs negotiations and goodwill to deal, through such agreements, with the matter of small-scale timber trade.
This three-day workshop aimed at gathering sub-regional actors as well as decision-makers and international organizations in a multi-actor context in order to:
1) Share existing information on forest products cross-border flows and their social, economic and fiscal impacts in the Great Lakes region;
2) Identify the major bottlenecks and barriers in national, provincial and inter-state control systems;
3) Issue recommendations aiming at reducing the illegal exploitation and trade of forest products and to enable the development of a legal market in the Great Lakes region.
Following fruitful discussions, participating experts issued recommendations to governments and to their partners concerning first of all the improvement and implementation of the legal framework in order to formalize and organize better the sector of traditional wood exploitation. Experts then issued recommendations on how to collect lacking data better and follow up cross-border wood flows and also concerning possible incentives to help regulate the sector of traditional wood exploitation.
To learn more, please contact: Marc VANDENHAUTE (Forest Officer, Rome) firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert SIMPSON (Programme Manager, Rome) email@example.com
@Photo - FAO