Through training workshops and business tools, this project strengthened the capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Cameroon to fulfil the requirements of the Cameroonian Legality Assurance System (LAS).
It also helped them to meet buyers' demands arising from timber legislations such as the EU Timber Regulation.
The overall objective was to support Cameroonian civil society organisations and the private sector in the implementation of the FLEGT VPA ( Voluntary Partnership Agreements) process in Cameroon.
The project activities built and supported the capacity of these groups to verify and document the legal status of timber exported from the country.
With more than 20 million ha of forested area, and as Africa’s largest exporter of tropical hardwood to the EU, Cameroon has a vested interest in ensuring the effectiveness of the VPA FLEGT process in the country. In light of the high level of trade with Europe, as well as their own ambition to implement the country’s reform process, the government of Cameroon showed their commitment to the VPA process by becoming one of the first few countries to sign a VPA agreement (in October, 2010).
Timber product exports from Cameroon are very much dependent on European markets which are the principal outlets for all the three major types of processed products exported from Cameroon (sawn lumber, plywood, and veneer).
If timber producers of Cameroon are unable to meet the requirements set by a regional procurement policy in the EU, almost 74% (76% if the US and Japan markets are added) of Cameroon export market for timber products would be jeopardised and the formal forest industry of Cameroon would nearly collapse.
Although larger companies in the Cameroon timber sector have the means to successfully deal with all the new legality issues that the VPA process and EUTR have brought, most small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have the financial or human resource capacity to deal with these requirements on their own.
Although many general informational meetings and workshops have been held in Cameroon to the private sector over the past few years regarding the “what” and “why” of the VPA process and new legality regulations, there has been no pragmatic information made available to SMEs regarding “how” they can actually implement the new legality requirements.
The project works through the following four main activities:
- Awareness and training on the implications of the LAS requirements on the operation and practice activities for local SMEs.
- Support for the structuring of associations / unions of SMEs, strengthening the capacity of their leaders and the establishment of a federation of associations / unions.
- Exchanges between SMEs and importers facing constraints to changing markets (VPA EUTR / DDS, Lacey Act ... ) and establishment of an exchange platform for Cameroonian SMEs and timber importers.
- Capacity building for forest professionals in the implementation of forest management standards.
Results and impact
The project delivered the following results:
- Improved knowledge and skills amongst SMEs in the timber industry.
- Training provided for minimum 80 participants representing Cameroonian SMEs and Civil Society Organisations.
- Support for SMEs strengthened through the creation of a federal National Association of SMEs.
- Opportunities and constraints of SMEs are better understood through enhanced dialogue with importers.
- Cameroonian forestry professionals have increased their knowledge, skills and abilities to meet the standards of good forest management in logging areas in order to strengthen the rule of law from the site of operation (90 people trained).
Watch this video to gain an impression of the project's impact:
Find guides, tools and assessments developed by the project in the below list:
|Report on training needs for VPA and FLEGT implementation in Cameroon.|
|Workshop Announcement||Invitation for workshop/study visit 17-20 November 2014 in Brussels.|
|Invitation Letter||Invitation to the presidents of Cameroonian SME associations.|
|Training Agenda 1||Training provided for Cameroonian SMEs in July 2014|
|Orientation document NIMF (Normes Intervention Milieu Forestier)||Forest Training February 2015|
|Normes d’Intervention en Milieu Forestier||
9-10 February in Mbalmayo
12-13 February in Bertoua
|Support document (Orientations pour la mise En Oeuvre Des Normes D’Intervention En Milieu Forestier)|
Feel free to contact us if you wish to engage or know more about this project:
Leticia Calvo Vialettes
Tel: +34 682 88 55 27
François Owono Owono