FSC certification in Cameroon surpasses 1 million hectares

Posted on 27 March 2013

Total Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified area in Cameroon has exceeded 1 million hectares
Yaoundé, Cameroon – The total Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified area in Cameroon has exceeded 1 million hectares with the certification of new areas managed by the Société Forestière et Industrielle de la Doumé, a Rougier subsidiary and participant in WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN).

The newly certified areas, covering 285,667 ha, are located in the Mbang area of eastern Cameroon, home to the Baka community, considered among the oldest residents of Cameroon’s rainforests. These forests are also rich in biodiversity. This award marks the first substantial increase of FSC certified area in the Congo Basin in several years.

“We congratulate Rougier on this achievement and salute their commitments to responsible forest management in the Congo Basin. It’s also important Rougier and Cameroonian authorities work together to maintain elephant populations in these forests, considering the recent documented massacres in the Congo Basin,” said Daniel Tiveau, Regional GFTN Manager for Central Africa.

FSC is the best forest management assurance system available, and is recognized as the top level of commitment by leading environmental groups operating within the tropical forest industry.

FSC certification ensures the forest management is 1) environmentally appropriate – protecting and maintaining natural communities and high conservation value forests 2) socially beneficial – respecting the rights of workers, communities and indigenous peoples and 3) economically viable – building markets, adding best value and creating equitable access to benefits.

WWF/GFTN has supported Société Forestière et Industrielle de la Doumé since October 2009 in establishing an action plan to achieve FSC certification, supporting local and indigenous peoples on community development, building the capacity of the Local Consultation Framework (Comité Paysan Forêts), and has provided training on conflict resolution.

In working toward FSC certification, the company has improved its internal management procedures through better documentation of its work, and has undergone third party assessment.

“Many years ago, Rougier entered into a voluntary process of certification in which the group invested heavily to enhance its production on the international market. Through our efforts in matters of certification, we wish to consolidate our positions on the developing markets for certified products,” said Rougier CEO Francis Rougier.

WWF is currently undertaking research to identify barriers for forest certification and is committed to helping companies overcome them.

"Managing forests responsibly is the best way to ensure a better future for people and biodiversity, and buying certified products from the Congo Basin is the best way markets can influence forest management in the region," Tiveau said.

Alphonse of WWF Cameroon pointing at FSC certified logs on a logging truck, East province, Cameroon.
© Brent Stirton / Getty Images / WWF-UK