Non-wood forest products
Ministry for Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishery, Central African Republic
Text by Bruno Bokoto de Semoboli, Project Coordinator CAR
The Ministry for Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishery of the Central African Republic (MEFCP) is responsible for the implementation of the government’s policy with regards to the sustainable management of forest, wildlife and fishery resources with the objective of:
|Traditional beehive in the Province of Ouham, Central African Republic (Photo: Bruno Bokoto de Semboli)|
The Central African codes on forestry (law 08.022 from 17th October 2008) and environment (law 07.018 from 28th December 2007) and in addition the by-law 84.045 in regard to wildlife protection provide the legal basis for a policy on sustainable management of natural resources and biodiversity. The ministry implements these laws i.a. through forestry framework plans for a sustainable management and use of forest and hunting zones and protected areas.
Organization of the Ministry for Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishery
The Ministry comprises three general directions, namely
- The General Directorate for Supporting Services,
- The General Directorate for Regional Services,
- The General Directorate for Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishery with five directorates:
- The General Directorate for Inventories and Forest Planning (DIAF),
- The General Directorate for Forestry Exploitation and Industries (DEIF),
- The General Directorate for Wildlife and Protected Areas (DFAP),
- The General Directorate for Water, Fishery and Aquaculture (DEPA) and
- The General Directorate for the Centre of Forest Data (CDF).
Non-Wood Forest Products
Based on a holistic view on the nation’s biodiversity and its contribution to the country’s economy, non-wood forest products are integrated in the forestry law in its sub-section III, articles 65 to 76 in regard to the use and exploitation of forest products other than timber (PFABO) and in article 174 related to the conditions of marketing, transformation and commercialization of PFABOs.
While anticipating fundamental organizational changes within the ministry, there is no specialized service for non-wood forest products. Due to this organizational shortcoming, the minister appointed a focal point to design a policy for the non-wood forest product sector and to monitor the implementation of the regulations on the exploitation of NWFP in the country. The focal point is responsible for strengthening the collaboration between the ministry and the project GCP/RAF/441/GER “Enhancing the contribution of non-wood forest products to poverty alleviation and food security in Central African countries”.
During the implementation of the project, the focal point supports the national project coordinator in regard to the elaboration or adaptation of national policies for the promotion of the sustainable use of non-wood forest products and their contribution to food security and the implementation of the right to food in the Central African Republic. The focal point facilitates synergies between the project and other national initiatives and governmental policies like the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) with its third pillar on the economic diversification through the valorization of natural resources, the active implication of the population in the NWFP sector, the increased benefits of poor people within value chains and capacity building of governmental authorities and public institutions as well as the application of legal rules and regulations.