Expected result 4: Visibility and demand for FLEGT licensed timber among private sector actors and domestic timber producers, traders and consumers are promoted in the four targeted countries
Below are the activities implemented to achieve result 4.
Activity 4.1: Carry out visibility actions and awareness on FLEGT licensed timber among SMEs, domestic timber producers, traders and consumers
Biannual news bulletins on timber trade and FLEGT issues have been shared to raise awareness within the formal and informal sectors (artisanal millers, chainsaw operators) of domestic markets in project countries, and a timber procurement policy paper prepared to support the legal working group’s efforts towards reforming the domestic timber market in Ghana.
- Domestic market actors now have good awareness of the FLEGT VPA and the importance of purchasing legally verifiable FLEGT licensed timber.
- In Cameroon, a meeting between forest communities and SMEs (timber producers and buyers) prompted negotiations and has made timber from local forests available for their use.
Activity 4.2: Facilitate establishment of functioning national web-based information systems for market promotion of legally and sustainably produced timber
Timber purchasers in Ghana and Cameroon were given information via the project’s websites on suppliers of legal and sustainable wood to support trade that is compliant with the FLEGT process. Institutional consultations and timber trade data collection and validation were also carried out, focusing on Policy Options and Market Challenges.
- An outcome of the increased awareness of FLEGT and forest governance in Ghana, to which the CiSoPFLEG project has contributed, is the new partnerships to support FLEGT implementation. For example, the Ghana government is now partnering with other actors such as Tropenbos International in the Netherlands to implement the Artisanal Milling Concept. This will support integration of the domestic market into the legal supply chain by bringing together timber operators, who have been dealing in illegal chainsaw milling, into recognised associations, registering them as small businesses, and supplying them with off-cuts from companies holding legal logging rights. If this concept is up-scaled, there is evidence it can support the timber procurement policy to displace chainsaw wood from the domestic market.
- Purchasers and traders of domestic wood such as GTMO, FAWAG, KWC, GTA, members of DOLTA, DOMAG, KWC and Legal Working Group, and state institutions now have a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the domestic market reform process. They are also well aware of the huge commitments required to achieve legality and sustainability in Ghana’s domestic timber market
- Useful discussions with domestic timber market actors took place during the activities that can guide future advocacy actions such as:
- The different interests that need to be addressed if the policy is to contribute to legal reforms in timber production and procurement
- Government must consider private sector initiatives that can be implemented together with the Timber Procurement Policy
- The policy can encourage large-scale operators to improve their practices but, without special measures, it is unlikely to help SMEs as they have challenges beyond their control when implementing market requirements
- Government must review the proposed off-reserve LI to ensure fair distribution of off-reserve resources and thereby boost the capacity of domestic timber producers in support of procurement policy implementation
- Issues highlighted by artisanal millers were:
- Challenges that undermine the potential of the artisanal milling concept. First, there is no recognised market for artisanal millers to buy raw timber for their mills. Second, the supply of off-cuts that artisanal mills are expected to rely on is insufficient and unsustainable for a large number of artisanal mills. This is compounded by the problem that artisanal millers are not able to compete with timber companies for logging rights in off-reserve areas. They advised that the artisanal milling concept needs to be complemented by a well-developed domestic log market.
Activity 4.3 Raise awareness of timber procurement policy requirements for the domestic market among state institutions and subcontractors
Stakeholder durbars and leaflets focussed on raising awareness of domestic market policy requirements in Ghana and Cameroon were supported. It is expected that changes in government purchasing towards legal and sustainable timber and timber products will be followed by similar demand from other, and thereby reduce demand for illegal timber. In Ghana, the durbars involved District Assemblies in the project districts and GTMO, FAWAG, KWC, GTA, DOLTA, DOMAG, KWC and Legal Working Group Members. Current information on the domestic market policy and the timber procurement policy was shared, and issues such as the timber procurement policy proposals, the policy implementation arrangements and public expectations of the policy were discussed.
- Improved consultation, cooperation and coordination between District Assemblies, FSD, GTMO, FAWAG, KWC, GTA, DOLTA, DOMAG, KWC and other forest stakeholders. District Chief Executives and their respective District Coordinating Teams have awareness of the policy and guidelines on timber procurement in Ghana. They now understand the positive gains for Ghana’s forest sector from sourcing legal timber. However, the success of the policy rests mainly in gaining the support of the private sector.
Activities for expected result 1 towards effectively engaging stakeholders in national FLEGT/VPA negotiation and implementation
Activities for expected result 2 towards sharing information and experiences on forest governance to strengthen FLEGT VPA negotiation and implementation
Activities for expected result 3 towards improved public awareness and transparency in forest sector governance