AU launches first sustainable forest management framework

The African Union (AU) has launched the first Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Framework for the period of 2020 to 2030 which aims at fostering sustainable management, and to address the challenges undermining the value and the role of the forest sector.

The SFM Framework was launched at the AU Summit in Addis, Ethiopia, at the weekend, with the theme: “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development” to contribute to the attainment of maintaining peace on the continent.

According the preamble of the framework, Africa’s forest sector is faced with many challenges that limit its capacity to provide meaningful and sustainable ecosystem services including contributing to socio-economic development.

The challenges include weak forest and land-use policies, unsustainable forest management practices; competition for land from the agriculture, mining, livestock, energy sector and settlements.

It further said the forest sector is given low priority in national plans and resources allocations.

Reflecting on the above realities, the vision of the AU SFM Framework was collaboratively developed with the active participation of AU Member States and the Regional Economic Communities under the coordination of the African Union Commission.

“Through the implementation of this framework, Africa hopes to stimulate trade, sustain livelihood and boost rural incomes. Therefore, this framework serves as a guideline for AU Member States and other African stakeholders in the forestry sector to assist them in their efforts to eliminate deforestation and forest degradation by 2063,” it said.

Also, the framework creates an enabling environment for collaboration and policy harmonisation between RECs and the African Union Commission, as well as among Member States.

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