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News release

Workshop participants call for update of African guidelines

30 May 2017

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Participants at the Second Regional Workshop on the Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests, held in Cotonou, Benin. Photo: A.O. Lokossou

Participants at the Second Regional Workshop on the ITTO Voluntary Guidelines for the Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests, held on 8–12 May 2017 in Cotonou, Benin, agreed there was a need to revise the ATO/ITTO Principles, Criteria and Indicators for the Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests in Africa. The workshop, which was convened in collaboration with Benin’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and General Directorate of Forestry, was attended by 33 practitioners and policymakers from ITTO member countries in Africa.
 
The aim of the workshop was to stimulate the development and implementation of national and subnational guidelines on sustainable forest management (SFM), drawing on the ITTO Voluntary Guidelines for the Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests and the experiences of countries in the region.
 
The voluntary guidelines, which were published in 2015, provide guidance for forest managers, policymakers and other forest stakeholders in addressing the policy, legal, governance, institutional, ecological, social and economic issues that need to be taken into account in the planning, implementation and evaluation of SFM in natural tropical forests to ensure the sustainable provision of forest goods and environmental services. The guidelines update and replace the ITTO Guidelines for the Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests, which date to 1992.
 
The ITTO Criteria and Indicators for the Sustainable Management of Tropical Forests – published in 2016 – draw strongly on the voluntary guidelines, taking into account current forest policy issues such as those related to climate-change mitigation and adaptation, the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and the Sustainable Development Goals. The ATO[1]/ITTO Principles, Criteria and Indicators for the Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests in Africa, which were finalized in 2003, should be revisited, said workshop participants, to ensure that SFM practices in Africa were relevant and up-to-date with recent developments in the fast-changing global policy environment.
 
Workshop statement and presentations are available here


[1] African Timber Organization