This project was formulated pursuant to ITTC Decision 4(XXIX) in order to develop a framework of cooperation between ITTO and ATO for the promotion and application of ATO/ITTO principles, criteria and indicators (PCI) for the sustainable management of African forests, which could eventually lead to credible assessment and certification systems. The specific objectives of the project are to establish key elements of adequate capacity:
(i) to implement ATO/ITTO PCI at national level in the African Member countries of ITTO.
(ii) for effective regional-level cooperation through the ATO to support individual Member countries to implement the ATO/ITTO PCI.
Under Phase I of the project, the draft ATO/ITTO PCI were drafted for endorsement by both organizations and some 160 relevant forestry staff in 7 countries were trained in their implementation. An auditing framework for African forests was also developed. More than 100 trainers were trained to conduct audits based on the ATO/ITTO PCI at the forest management unit level. National PCI/certification standards were developed in 5 countries, collection of data on PCI was undertaken in 9 countries, improvement of national monitoring/auditing frameworks commenced in all 10 African producer countries, and ATO’s advisory and dissemination capacity in relation to PCI was enhanced.
Phase II Stage 1 is now on-going and will continue efforts to extend all of these activities to all ITTO producer members in Africa. Phase II Stage 2 will result in all 10 countries having nationally agreed and internationally accepted C&I/auditing frameworks.