Logging company engages with FSC certification in Cameroon
GD proprietors and their main buyers, Groupe VETEKA, in a join press conference with WWF CARPO reiterated their commitments to working towards attaining high standards of forest management and ensure acceptable social performance in and around their 139,192 hectares of forest concession which is part of the larger block of the Congo Basin forest.
The commitments are contained in a convention signed between the three parties during the press conference. The partnership was developed in collaboration with the Cameroon Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
According to a WWF-designed plan of action for GD targeting sustainable forest management and certification, the forest concession in question will have to be managed with due consideration to biodiversity protection and the rights of local communities.
Laurent Somé, Regional Representative of WWF CARPO, describes the development as “significant for those who are taking action for a living planet”, adding that it falls in line with recommendations of the Yaoundé Declaration on sustainable management of the Central African forests — one of the world’s most species-rich forests.
"Groupe Decolvenaere is showing a leadership role in its commitment to sustainable forest management and certification. We have to applaud the courageous decision taken by Decolvenaere to engaging towards a FSC certification," said Laurent Somé. "The presence today among us of the company’s main buyers, VETEKA gives another dimension to today’s ceremony. It is in line with efforts developed by WWF and other partners to provide the necessary links between producers and buyers within the framework of the Global Forest Trade Network. This is also timely as it comes at a time when we are setting up the Central African Producers Group.”
WWF CARPO reiterated it will continue to work with governments and the private sector to ensure that others emulate the example of Groupe Decolvenaere.
"What is important and most significant to us today is not certification in itself, but the zeal for sustainable forest practices," added Laurent Somé. "Certification is just a tool, which is part of a whole process of sustainable forest management — the key words of this convention.”
Groupe VETEKA, the main wood buyers of Groupe Decolvenaere, welcome the decision of GD and their partnership with WWF to work rigorously towards achieving high standards of forest management as prescribed by FSC.
“If we continue to cut down the trees of the world as was the case many years ago, there will be almost no forests in the next twenty years”, said Mr Kempes Jan, Director of the Netherlands-based wood company.
Guy Decolvenaere, Director of GD said: “We have chosen FSC certification because of its complete programme, namely: forest exploitation, protection and respect of biodiversity; social aspects that take in to consideration the improved livelihood of the local population. We have also chosen to work with WWF because not only are they experts in matters of sustainable forest management, they are permanently on the ground to give a helping hand”.
The next immediate challenge of the company as indicated in the action plan is the pre-audit mission to be conducted by an internationally accredited firm by June 2004.
For further information:
WWF Central Africa Regional Programme Office
Tel.: +237 221 70 85