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News release

Heads of African forestry to consult on sustainable forest management

Yokohama, Japan, 18 May 2001

A workshop to be held next week in Yaounde, Cameroon will bring together the heads of West African forestry departments to discuss the achievement and assessment of sustainable forest management.

The primary aim of the workshop will be to refine the African Timber Organization's (ATO) 'Initiative on Principles, Criteria and Indicators of Sustainable Forest Management' and make them consistent with those of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), which pioneered work in this field. The expected result is a unique set of ATO/ITTO Criteria and indicators for the sustainable management of African forests.

This set of criteria and indicators will assist West African nations in achieving sustainable forest management. To further assist the process, the workshop is expected to develop a project proposal to help implement the criteria and indicators at the field level and to strengthen forest monitoring and timber certification. The proposal would then be submitted to ITTO for funding. ITTO already funds a wide range of projects in West Africa designed to promote sustainable development and the conservation of tropical forests.

The Workshop on criteria and indicators for the sustainable management of African forests, which is sponsored jointly by ATO and ITTO, will be held at the Hilton Hotel, Yaounde on 25-26 May 2001. It will precede the 30th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council, which will be convened at the same venue on 28 May-2 June 2001.

For more information contact: Mr Emmanuel Ze Meka, ITTO Secretariat, Yokohama; itto@itto.or.jp