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Gabon commits to responsible forest management
Tuesday, 2 October 2018
Government has requested forestry operators to become FSC certified by 2022
Bonn, 02 October 2018.- The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) welcomes the recent announcement by the Republic of Gabon which will require all forestry companies operating in the country to be FSC certified by 2022.
Speaking at the FSC certified Rougier sawmill of Mevang in Gabon, President Ali Bongo Ondimba stated that Gabon has made tremendous strides in extracting value from their forests since 2009—but, a lot more will need to be done for the country to increase their global market share and be able to produce quality products.
“In terms of quality, Forest Stewardship Council certification is important and will guarantee the access of our production to the reference markets. FSC certification offers many advantages which will improve the attractiveness of the timber sector to potential investors, stimulate local production, and respond to the growing demand for quality products in these markets.” said President Bongo.
Kim Carstensen, Director General of FSC International, commented “FSC appreciates this forward-looking decision by the government of Gabon. Increasing the already important level of FSC certification in Gabon will serve as a catalyst to increase responsible forest management while stimulating external demand for responsibly sourced timber and forest products from Gabon. At the same time, FSC certification will benefit local communities and help protect Gabon’s unique wildlife and its natural resources.”
Gabon has 15.9 million hectares of forest concessions, of which over 2 million are FSC-certified and has the potential to increase this area by around 13 million hectares with this announcement. In order to carry this out, Gabonese authorities have indicated that they will take the necessary measures to accompany the operators towards FSC certification by developing an action plan in the next two months.
“We are very pleased with the commitment of Gabon to FSC certification, which is very much in line with our global ambition of increasing FSC-certified forests in the Congo Basin. We are looking forward to working with all the stakeholders and to ensure they enjoy the benefits and value of our forest management certification,” said Steve Ball, FSC Africa Regional Director.
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