West Africa’s forest resources are among the richest and most diverse in the world and are crucial for the welfare of its people, as well as for biological diversity and climate regulation. Yet, despite conservation efforts, the destruction of forests, woodlands and wildlife continues unabated, largely driven by forces outside the forest sector.
The priorities for forest resources management focus on combating deforestation and forest degradation, especially in arid and semi arid countries, promoting sustainable forest management practices in West moist Africa and pursuing efforts in strengthening national capacities in member countries to undertake and improve forest resources assessment.
Contribution of forests, trees outside forests and wildlife resources to food security and poverty alleviation is a high priority to Africa. In this respect, activities focus on sustainable utilisation of forest and wildlife products as well as on wood energy. Forestry technical area aims at strengthening the emerging partnership between FAO and governments and NGOs, in order to improve forest-food statistics, to develop food safety standards, to encourage domestication and to sustainably manage dwindling natural supplies, including wild meat.
In the context of supporting Sub-regional initiatives SFW/forestry will seek to strengthen the ECOWAP, CAADP and NEPAD Environment Initiatives among others by working with farmers to protect upstream watershed catchment functions through maintenance of forest cover and use of agroforestry and associated soil conservation practices.
SFW/FO works towards developing closer collaboration with River Basin Authorities, Development Partners and Other UN Agencies at Sub-regional Levels and support to Sub-regional forestry policies and institutions is pursued in the context of National Forest Programmes and with support from the nfp Facility.