Published on September 4, 2007
FOREST ISSUES IN AFRICA: FOREST ISSUES IN AFRICA Michael Kidd Overview: Overview Africa’s Forests The importance of forests Deforestation Effects Causes Responses to threats Binding international and regional instruments International ‘soft law’ Other relevant instruments and initiatives Obstacles to intervention Slide3: 650 million ha of forests Source: Patrick L Osborne Tropical Ecosystems and Ecological Concepts (2000) 3, adapted by author. The importance of forests: Source of biodiversity Habitat The importance of forests The importance of forests: The importance of forests Protection against natural hazards Carbon sinks absorb carbon through respiration from the atmosphere and store relatively large amounts both in plants and in soils’ Protect against soil erosion Climate moderation The importance of forests: The importance of forests Source of water Source of resources useful to humans Wood Meat Fruit Nuts Rubber Medicinal plants Ecotourism Source of knowledge Biocultural diversity Deforestation: Deforestation Deforestation: Deforestation The effects of deforestation: The effects of deforestation Loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation Impact on species Climate change Desertification Impacts on human forest-dwellers What are the causes of deforestation?: What are the causes of deforestation? POPULATION Logging: Logging Agricultural Expansion: Agricultural Expansion Swidden – slash and burn Fuelwood Depletion: Fuelwood Depletion Africa: wood required for 58% of energy requirements Bushmeat: Bushmeat Total African harvest: 1 to 5 million tons per year – equivalent to 5 to 20 million cattle. Responses to threats to Africa’s forests: Responses to threats to Africa’s forests Binding international and regional instruments International ‘soft law’ Other relevant instruments and initiatives Central African Forest Treaty and COMIFAC: Central African Forest Treaty and COMIFAC Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) and Congo Basin Forest Partnership : Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) and Congo Basin Forest Partnership Convention on Biological Diversity: Convention on Biological Diversity Provisions relevant to forests Forest Biodiversity Programme Kyoto Protocol: Kyoto Protocol …sinks projects in non-Annex I countries that may generate credits under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) … were limited to afforestation and reforestation project activities. Thus, projects designed to avoid deforestation will not be able to generate CDM credits… (2001) CITES: CITES Species on Appendices CITES: CITES Desertification Convention: Desertification Convention African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources 2003: African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources 2003 Article VI: Land and Soil Article VII: Water Article VIII: Vegetation Cover Article VIII: Vegetation Cover: Article VIII: Vegetation Cover 1. The Parties shall take all necessary measures for the protection, conservation, sustainable use and rehabilitation of vegetation cover. To this end they shall: a) adopt scientifically-based and sound traditional conservation, utilization and management plans for forests, woodlands, rangelands, wetlands and other areas with vegetation cover, taking into account the social and economic needs of the peoples concerned, the importance of the vegetation cover for the maintenance of the water balance of an area, the productivity of soils and the habitat requirements of species; b) take concrete steps or measures to control fires, forest exploitation, land clearing for cultivation, grazing by domestic and wild animals, and invasive species; c) establish forest reserves and carry out afforestation programmes where necessary; d) limit forest grazing to season and intensities that will not prevent forest regeneration. World Heritage Convention: World Heritage Convention Ramsar Convention: Ramsar Convention Soft Law: Soft Law The Forest Principles Agenda 21: Chapter 11 Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) IPF/IFF 270 Proposals for Action United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) UNFF: UNFF To facilitate implementation of forest-related agreements and foster a common understanding on sustainable forest management; To provide for continued policy development and dialogue among Governments, international organizations, including major groups, as identified in Agenda 21 as well as to address forest issues and emerging areas of concern in a holistic, comprehensive and integrated manner, To enhance cooperation as well as policy and programme coordination on forest-related issues; To foster international cooperation; To monitor, assess and report on progress of the above functions and objectives; and To strengthen political commitment to the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. Slide29: IAF: Current Developments: IAF: Current Developments UNFF-5 (2005) 'In the end, UNFF-5 did produce a message, but not the one intended: it signaled to the world that international discussions on forests remain discussions, not particularly productive ones, and that the collective desire to turn dialogue into action remains just that – a desire'. International Forests Convention?: International Forests Convention? Three preconditions (Humphreys 2005)- Additional overseas development assistance to tropical forests Support of USA Support of Brazil and its neighbours. Other relevant initiatives: Other relevant initiatives International Tropical Timber Agreement Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Obstacles to Intervention : Obstacles to Intervention Poverty: Poverty Armed conflict and political instability: Armed conflict and political instability Corruption: Corruption Corruption Perceptions Index Nigeria 1.6; Chad 1.7 DRC, Angola; Côte d’Ivoire Botswana Conclusion: Conclusion Millennium Development Goals Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Ensure environmental sustainability Slide38: Source: Scott Willis, Copley News Service, 1989, as appearing in Michael Williams Deforesting the Earth: From Prehistory to Global Crisis (2003) at 499.