FAO au Cameroun

II SW4SW Dialogue in Douala, Cameroon: “Strengthening the domestic wood value chain by adding value, improving efficiency, inclusion and competitiveness: the role of the Wood Promotion Center (CPB)”


On 1 and 2 December 2022, the second dialogue of the Sustainable Wood for a Sustainable World (SW4SW) Initiative took place in Douala, Cameroon. Building on the priorities identified during the first Dialogue in 2019 and following a request to FAO to support the restructuring of the Wood Promotion Center (Centre de promotion du bois- CPB in French), the two-day workshop identified priorities and operational measures to strengthen the wood value chain in Cameroon oriented towards domestic and regional markets by adding value, improving efficiency, inclusion and competitiveness.

The event, convened by the CPB and the World Wildlife Fund Cameroon (WWF - Cameroon) in collaboration with FAO, was opened by His Excellency, Minister Jules Doret Djongo, Minister of Forests and Wildlife (MINFOF), who reaffirmed his commitment to the Ministerial Call for Sustainable Wood signed in Korea in May 2022 at the XV World Forestry Congress. His presence, alongside other high-level authorities, including the Secretary General of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises, Social Economy and Artisanal Production and the Secretary General of the Littoral Region, confirmed the high political momentum for improving contributions from sustainable wood value chains to livelihoods, carbon neutrality and resilience. Overall, the event brought together 50 participants representing all segments of the domestic and regional wood value chains, as well as the international cooperation and finance communities.

The SW4SW initiative in Cameroon

The Sustainable Wood for a Sustainable World (SW4SW) Initiative aims to strengthen sustainable wood value chains by enhancing their socioeconomic and environmental performance, adopting an inclusive approach. To this end, the initiative implements collaborative activities and catalyzes efforts to increase sustainable production, employment and income from sustainable wood value chains, providing support to the review of policy and institutional frameworks, governance platforms, policy dialogues and technical exchanges, information systems, capacity building for improved access to markets and finance, and investment forums. In 2019, a National SW4SW Dialogue took place in Douala, Cameroon, following the SW4SW Dialogue for Francophone countries. These events prompted participants to discuss priorities and formulate a preliminary roadmap for achieving SW4SW objectives in their own subregions. Following the conclusion of the SW4SW national dialogue and in the perspective of receiving new investments from the Common Fund, the Cameroonian government requested FAO to support the restructuring efforts of the CPB. This work is consistent with Cameroon's Development Strategy (SDN) 2020- 2030, which foresees: (i) The establishment of the CPB as a reference center in the promotion of wood as building material and decoration, and in the provision of solutions to craftsmen and political actors for improving the legality and the sustainability of artisanal wood value chain; (ii) The provision of clear and effective governance bodies to the CPB; (iii) The development of technical partnerships with research and training institutes, wood furniture technical centers, but also strategic partnerships to support the transformation of the artisanal wood market; and (iv) the development a long-term financial strategy to support the mission of the CPB.

The II SW4SW Dialogue in Douala: advancing towards priorities and operational measures

The two-day national SW4SW Dialogue, in Douala, Cameroon took the format of a workshop with the objective of formulating a roadmap of priority actions to improve the socioeconomic and environmental performance of the wood value chain oriented to domestic and regional markets, as well as strengthening the contributions from the CPB. Participants had access to the results of recent assessments of the domestic and regional wood value chains in Cameroon and the Congo Basin conducted by FAO in collaboration with the WWF Cameroon and the Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux (ATIBT). “Cameroon is a forest country. The importance of its domestic market as well as the African market is equivalent to that of all export markets outside Africa in volume of logs” said FAO Senior Forestry Officer Ms Thaís Linhares-Juvenal during the opening session of the second. “We have an enormous potential for sustainable development that we must not waste. Cameroon has the resource, the technical capacity, the political will, and several partners”, she added. Specific goals were to (i) Contribute to a clear and common understanding and knowledge of the challenges of strengthening the value chain; (ii) Provide the participant with better knowledge and understanding of CPB and its role in leading to more efficient, inclusive and value-added value chains; (iii) Define a roadmap and action plan for the restructuring of the CPB. Women were a quarter of the total participants and have a significant presence in the wood value chain for the domestic and regional markets, acting as owners of wood businesses, heads of producer associations, and as part of the industry workforce. They mentioned, “If women receive appropriate technical education, they can participate in the wood value chain in many different roles.” Next steps The roadmap produced based on the II SW4SW in Douala will be finalized by FAO and delivered to MINFOF government. It is expected it will guide future investments, technical cooperation, and partnerships to increase environmental and socioeconomic benefits from wood production in the country, with positive impacts for the region.

Related Links
XV World Forestry Congress: Ministers issue call on sustainable wood
Secteur forestier au Cameroun : le Centre de promotion du bois en pleine restructuration