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News release

Workshop will promote better logging practice in Africa

Yokohama, Japan, 17 May 2001

More than 50 African logging experts will meet next week in Yaounde, Cameroon to discuss ways of improving logging practice in Africa's humid tropical forests.

The workshop, which is being co-sponsored by IUCN, the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the US State Department and the Conference on Humid Dense Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (CEFDHAC), will bring together forest concessionaires, environmental non-governmental organizations and national and international forestry agencies to promote the sustainable management of forest ecosystems through reduced impact logging (RIL).

The term RIL represents a range of techniques developed by foresters to reduce the damage that so-called 'conventional' logging does in the forest, but its implementation is still lacking in large parts of the tropical forest estate.

This 1-day workshop will share information on the status of RIL in Central Africa, identify the main constraints to its widespread adoption, and formulate recommendations and strategies for achieving uptake in the region.

The workshop is likely to provide guidance for the design of programs for the increased training of logging crews in RIL techniques. ITTO recognises the need for such training and has stated its intention to establish a regional-level RIL training school in each of the three tropical regions. A feasibility study on such a training school recently carried out in Cameroon has led to the development of a project proposal that will be considered for funding by the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC) later this year. Workshop discussions are likely to provide inputs that will help improve not only the Cameroonian proposal but also those being developed in other regions.

The International workshop on the promotion of reduced impact logging in Central Africa will be held at the Mont Febe Hotel, Yaounde on 24 May 2001. It will precede the Workshop on criteria and indicators for the sustainable management of African forests, also sponsored by ITTO, to be held on 25-26 May 2001, and the 30th Session of the ITTC, which will be convened on 28 May-2 June 2001.

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