News  |  30.09.2022

Future trilateral project to encourage a legal tropical timber trade

Last week, the Executive Secretary of COMIFAC, Mr. Hervé Martial Maidou, and the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Cameroon, Ms. Corinna Fricke, initialed the trilateral project note between Central Africa, China and Europe.

Future trilateral project to encourage a legal tropical timber trade

This project, entitled Tropical Timber Trade Facility, takes place in a context of strong trade relations between the countries of the Congo Basin and China, particularly in the forestry-wood sector. About 60 to 80% of timber and finished wood products are exported from the Congo Basin to China, a significant proportion of which is then re-exported to Europe.

In July 2020, China adopted a new forestry code, which stipulates in its article 65 that it is forbidden to buy, transport and transform illegal wood. This new forestry code is an opportunity to encourage legal timber trade between Central Africa and China, although it is necessary to accompany this transition.

It is in this context that the Tropical Timber Trade Facility project is being developed. Its subtitle speaks for itself: "Promotion of trade in legal and/or sustainable tropical timber and timber products along the supply chain from Central Africa through China to international markets. More specifically, its objectives will be to:

  • Support intergovernmental working groups towards an agreed policy framework on tropical timber trade
  • Motivate industry to work within the tropical timber trade policy framework
  • Increase demand for legal and sustainable tropical timber in international markets.

The Executive Secretary of COMIFAC welcomed this new project whose objectives fit well with those of COMIFAC's convergence plan for forest governance. Referring to the need to strengthen legality and sustainability in the tropical timber sector, and the essential role that governments play in establishing favorable governance conditions, Mr. Maidou thanked the Federal Republic of Germany for its constant support for the preservation of Central African forests.

ATIBT, recognizing the crucial role that Chinese economic actors can play in the development of good forestry practices in the Congo basin, welcomes this initiative.

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