Across Central Africa, artisanal timber logging is a much larger cause of forest cover loss than industrial logging, which is not currently considered to be an important direct factor in deforestation in the region. Most industrial logging in the region involves low logging densities concentrated on a few high-value species. However, the concurrence of high population densities with the opening of logging roads promotes substantial local forest cover degradation.
CAFI support is directed at ensuring increases in the percentage of forests under sustainable forest management plans, decreased illegalities in the forest sector - including on contracting and permitting -, enhanced transparency on permits, harvesting allowances and manageemnt plans. Supporting the development and completion of national forest monitoring systems is essential.
In line with the country's vision and strategic development plans and the National Investment Plan, the Letter of Intent signed between CAFI and Gabon sets milestones related to forest monitoring and forest governance, such as :
The CAFI-funded programme, currently implemented by the French Development Agency (AFD), is finalizing the SNORNF to ensure an efficient monitoring of the land use and land use change and forest sector and meet some of the milestones above.
Objective 3 of the Letter of Intent is to Develop and implement, in a participatory and transparent manner, a forest policy for sustainable management of forest resources by multiple stakeholders in the sector, including local and indigenous communities, with particular emphasis on forest law compliance, governance and various local and community management models
To that effect, a sectoral programme to create the conditions for a more sustainable management of forests is awaiting funding.
Already, a major achievement reached thanks to CAFI funding and FAo support has been the submission to the UNFCCC of DRC's first Forest Emission Reference Level.
Meanwhile, ongoing CAFI-funded provincial integrated programmes seek, over the next 5 years, to:
unsustainable forestry (both legal and illegal) is estimated to be the main cause of emissions from the land use sector, having generated 12.9 million tons of CO2/ year over the 2000-2012 period and projected to generate 15.6 million tons CO2/year for the 2015-2020 period (not taking artisanal logging into account ). Consequently, a strategic axis of the National REDD+ strategy is the sustainable management and valueing of forest resources.
In terms of sustainable management of forests, the country's Investment Framework therefore seeks to: