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Gabon forêts gestion durable
Whether roads, schools, markets, hospitals: any infrastructure construction in Gabon requires a certain amount of deforestation. The West African country cannot make economic and social progress without exploiting its forests. With the country set to host the One Forest Summit, below we take a look back at an exemplary model of sustainable forest management.

Amidst an unprecedented international drought, expectations are high for the One Forest Summit taking place in Libreville on March 1 and 2, 2023. World leaders plan to promote greater North-South solidarity to protect “humanity’s vital reserves”, such as the primary forests of Central Africa, due to the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss in particular.

See also: A Better Future for Kenya’s Forests

For example, in Bambidie, in the east of Gabon, forest exploitation has been managed by Precious Woods - CEB with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification since 2008. Certifying the wood as Forest Concession under Sustainable Management (CFAD), for an area covering 616,700 hectares, guarantees that it comes from a legal and sustainably-managed forestry operation. 

Precious Woods - CEB performs its forestry operations after conducting studies on forest conservation and indigenous populations. These assessments cover the coexistence of forests’ multiple functions, and are used to define the rules for managing the different areas of use and protecting fauna and flora, while aiming to improve the living conditions of local communities and indigenous populations, in keeping with their rights of use and customs.

AFD Group has been operational in Gabon since 2015, and is working with local authorities and stakeholders to develop a strategy that reconciles resource exploitation and conservation by supporting forest operators and the country’s government to transform the forest and timber sector. 

This fundamental change, in a country boasting 22 million hectares of trees, means that Gabon now has a strategic plan for the sustainable exploitation of its forests. This resource represents 60% of the country’s GDP, accounting for around 17,000 direct and indirect jobs in the private sector.