Workshop participants applying the ITTO C&I at field level in Pahou Forest. Photo: Direction de Gestion des Forêts et des Ressources Naturelles (DGFRN)
Nearly 40 participants from Benin and Mali gathered from 27-30 March in Cotonou, Benin for an ITTO sponsored training workshop on Criteria and Indicators (C&I) for Sustainable Tropical Forest Management (SFM). ITTO was pioneer in the development of C&I in the early 1990s and has been a leader in promoting their utilization for monitoring and reporting on forests throughout the tropics.
Issues discussed at the workshop included the following:
• Monitoring, assessing and reporting (MAR) on forests,
• Country reporting capabilities,
• Field level implementation, and
• Developments in international forestry and C&I processes.
Benin and Mali are new member countries of ITTO. Mali ratified the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 2006, on 25 October 2012, while Benin did so on 7 December 2011. This workshop is an example of the kind of assistance that producer member countries receive from ITTO to build their capacities for sustainable management of their forests.
It is anticipated that the workshop will better equip the forest authorities of Benin and Mali to monitor, assess and report on their forest resources, forest ecosystem health, SFM policy framework, and socioeconomic aspects of forest, among others.
The workshop in Benin was the 28th such national training exercise undertaken since 2000, and brought together representatives from government agencies, the private sector, academia and NGOs from ITTO’s two new members in Africa. The next C&I workshop is planned for late 2014 or early 2015 in Mozambique, another new African member.