Status of Tropical Forest Management 2005





The main difficulty in protecting and managing forests in Togo is the heavy pressure on them from an impoverished rural population. Indeed, pressure on the existing forest reserves is already high and the Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources, which is in charge of forests, is unable to secure their integrity. Capacity for forest management is low, and improvement is inhibited by a lack of means. This affects many forestry operations: for example, management plans are confined to a few teak plantations, scarcely 300 hectares of new plantations are established annually, and protection against fire is mostly ineffective. A process of decentralization has been initiated, whereby communes, prefectures and regions have responsibilities for the management of the state domain and on environmental issues, but the effects of this process on forest management are yet to be seen.

Key points

  • Togo has an estimated PFE of 368,000 hectares, comprising 41,000 hectares of natural production forest, 313,000 hectares of protection forest and 14,000 hectares of plantations (and additional private plantations outside the PFE).
  • At least 5,500 hectares of natural-forest production PFE are considered to be managed sustainably. Insufficient information was available for an estimate to be made of the area of protection PFE so managed.
  • Forest reserves and protected areas are not effectively protected or managed, and many are heavily degraded and subject to uncontrolled encroachment, the illegal gathering of NWFPs, poaching and timber theft.
  • Forestry training capacity is very limited, and fewer than ten personnel in the forestry administration have higher education in forestry or environmental management.
  • There is a lack of a national SFM framework and of forest management standards for natural forests.
  • Privately owned, planted forests are now being developed and will complement the teak and other plantations in the PFE.
  • However, planted forests in the PFE are small and generally lack proper planning, monitoring and silvicultural follow-up.
  • Many villages adjacent to forest reserves have forest committees to manage local interests in the use of forest reserves.