News  |  26.11.2021

Launch of the "ASP-Congo" project for the private sector: Professor Donatien Nzala joins the Brazzaville team

As a reminder, the Republic of Congo signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union on May 17, 2010, and since then, the country has been in the implementation phase of this agreement, which will result in the issuance of FLEGT licenses for all timber or timber products exported from the Republic of Congo.

Launch of the "ASP-Congo" project for the private sector: Professor Donatien Nzala joins the Brazzaville team

Improving forest governance involves all forestry sector actors and stakeholders: administrations (forestry and other administrations involved in the Congo-EU FLEGT VPA), civil society, technical and financial partners, and the private sector operating in the field of forest production activities.

Although many capacity-building actions have been carried out, especially with civil society, the involvement of forestry sector companies remains low. The private sector must be able to contribute to the main developments in the sector related to the implementation of regulatory changes and more globally to the FLEGT process. To achieve this objective, union representatives must be able to disseminate appropriate information on the FLEGT process to their members and to the entire private forestry sector in Congo.

It is in this context that ATIBT is implementing a "Private Sector Support, ASP-Congo" funded by the Delegation of the European Union - Congo (11th FED). This work is specifically aimed at building the capacity of private sector companies in forest legality to facilitate the implementation of the VPA in the Republic of Congo. It is structured in four components with several activities each. These include (1) improving the structuring and operational organization of professional associations in the forestry sector, (2) monitoring information and regulations in the private forestry sector, (3) involving and advocating for the forestry sector in the evolution of the regulatory framework and the FLEGT process, and (4) training and technical support for trade unions and private operators on legality and traceability.

ATIBT relies on its experience acquired through previous projects. In particular, it has already contributed to the dynamism of the forestry and timber sector by enabling these professional associations to be better represented in the FLEGT process.

The project is implemented by the ATIBT office in Congo, and in particular by the ATIBT Congo representative (project manager) and a technical assistant. The latter is in charge of supporting the development and implementation of training and coaching plans on legality and traceability within the framework of the Legality Verification System (in Brazzaville and during numerous field missions to companies), and assisting the project leader in monitoring certain technical issues related to forest management and exploitation.

This is how Professor Donatien N'ZALA joined the project team. Professor N'Zala was Director General of Forest Economy (2008-2014), then Inspector General of Forest Economy Services of the Republic of Congo (2014-2017).

Professor Donatien N'ZALA made the following statement:

"After 35 years of career as a teacher-researcher at the University Marien Ngouabi (Brazzaville-Congo), I am very happy to join the dynamic team of ATIBT through the project "Support to the Private Sector (ASP-Congo)". Being dedicated to sustainable forest management, I share the same vision as ATIBT.  As a teacher-researcher, I have also benefited from its rich documentation on tropical forests and environmental issues.  I wish to contribute effectively to the action of this project and to the growing success of ATIBT which works for the conservation and economic viability of tropical forest ecosystems.”