The signing ceremony of the Tropical Timber Trade Facility project for the trade of legal and sustainable tropical timber in Central Africa was held on September 22nd in Yaounde.
The objective of this project, which costs 6 million euros (about 4 billion CFA francs), is to ban illegal timber exports to international markets. Hervé Maidou, executive secretary of the Central African Forestry Commission (Comifac), initialed the document on behalf of the 11 countries in the sub-region involved in the project reports SBBC.
“Comifac is the political guardian of the future TTT project. It is responsible for the orientation, harmonisation and monitoring of forestry and environmental policies in Central Africa,” reads the presentation document.
The other signatory is Corinna Fricke, German ambassador to Cameroon. “The German Technical Cooperation (GIZ), mandated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), will accompany Comifac and the timber-producing member states in the implementation of this future project,” the document states.
The Comifac countries present this project as a major challenge because of the predominance of illegal timber from Central Africa. The International Tropical Timber Technical Association reveals that out of 55 million hectares of registered forest concessions in Central Africa, only 18% are verified as legal or certified. The rest do not benefit the states and populations. This is a situation that the implementation of the DTC should be able to change.
“Increased production of legal timber will lead to increased tax revenues in Central African countries and will enable local people, especially in remote rural areas, to benefit from legal employment,” says Comifac.
In addition to these benefits, the project is also a necessity, as EU countries and the United States are increasingly demanding about the origin of the wood entering their territory. China, which imports 60-80% of timber from Central Africa, has also tightened its forestry code with regard to illegal timber.