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This paper summarises the information presented in the country reports on forest revenue systems and government expenditure on the forestry sector in Africa. It compares and contrasts the many different ways in which forest revenue systems are designed and implemented in different countries and presents some estimates of the total financial flows between government and the forestry sector. Thirty-five countries have agreed to produce country reports on their fiscal policies in the forestry sector and this paper is based on the 26 country reports produced by the beginning of September 2001 (see Figure 1). The information and statistics presented in this paper are preliminary and will be checked and finalised in collaboration with countries during the remainder of the project.

The structure of the paper is as follows. The following two sections present information about the structure of forest revenue systems currently used in Africa and trends in the level of charges collected. These are followed by a section describing the implementation of forest revenue systems, including the methods used to set and revise forest charges and the processes used to collect and monitor charge collection. The last section on charge collection then presents information about total forest charge collection in countries.

Three sections examine government expenditure on the forestry sector, including: the sources of funds used in the sector; the types of activities supported; the types of expenditure in countries; and trends in total expenditure on the sector.

Two final sections present the main results and conclusions from the analysis of the country reports. The first examines the total financial flows between the government and the forestry sector. The last section presents some preliminary conclusions about the impact of current fiscal policies on sustainable forest management and some suggestions about how the current situation might be improved.


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