NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Members of the governing council of the African Forest Forum, AFF have expressed the need for ambitious transformational actions by all actors in forestry in Africa, including regional and sub-regional organizations , other stakeholders, to achieve the institutions goals and targets of raising the profile of African Forestry.
Accordingly, one of the core functions of the AFF is to strengthen high level political engagement, with the participation of major groups and other stakeholders in support of sustainable forest management.
“ African Forest Forum commits to sustainable management, wise use and conservation of Africa’s forest and tree resources for the socio-economic well-being of its peoples and for the stability and improvement of its environment,” reads the organizations release at the 18th session of the governing council meeting in Nairobi Kenya 30-31 March, 2023.
In this regard, the governing council and the technical support team in their working document outlined work plan blue print with proposals that will improve forest management, reversing the loss of forest cover, enhancing forest-based economic, social, and environmental benefits and mobilizing financial resources and strengthening scientific and technical cooperation; promoting governance frameworks to advance implementation of both local and regional projects.
According to Mcarthy Oyebo President of AFF governing council, the organization should forge ahead with its mission of information sharing and expertise,” create an enabling environment for independent and objective analysis, advocacy and advice on relevant policy and technical issues pertaining to achieving sustainable management, use and conservation of Africa’s forest and tree resources as part of efforts to reduce poverty, promote economic and social development and protect the environment”
Opening the session, the chair announced the inclusion of new members into the council from the media, research and academia.
AFF he said was the real power house in forestry thinking in Africa, calling on the body map out innovative ways to make to make forest part of the continent’s economy.
“The potential of forestry to pull investors and drive the economy of the continent is huge. The myriad of opportunities in the forestry sector should be fully exploited. Investors want to see return of their investments, so AFF should look beyond conservation and think business” Mcarthy said.
According to AFF executive secretary, the organization has since creation been spearheading a series of pan-African initiatives on how forest and trees can be better conserved to supports livelihoods, improve national and individual incomes and the environment, adding that Africa Forest Forum main focus has always been centering on people and the environment they live in.
“The forests and trees outside the forests are resources that must be managed sustainably and used judiciously. This is the only way we can address the needs of the people and improve the environment,” Prof. Godwin Kowero said at the opening of the session.
Among other things, AFF has been looking at how African countries are integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation options in the forestry sector and how this process is progressing. It has also looked at how national forest governance is responding to the Paris Agreement and related global climate change policies and initiative, the capacity for implementing REDD+ activities sub-Sahara African countries , exploring the use of dryland resources and commodities to promote nature-based entrepreneurship opportunities that could enhance livelihoods, national incomes, and employment; specifically focusing on natural gums and resins, among others, Professor Kowero explained.