El Mecanismo para la Restauración de Bosques y Paisajes

Launch of the national projects under The Restoration Initiative (TRI) in the Republic of São Tomé e Príncipe (STP)

Year published: 18/03/2019

The project: “Landscape Restoration for Ecosystem Functionality and Climate Change Mitigation in the Republic of São Tomé e Príncipe (STP),” is part of the framework programme of The Restoration Initiative (TRI) implemented by FAO, IUCN and UNEP, and has the objective of promoting the restoration and sustainable management of forest ecosystems of São Tomé and Príncipe to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation, and stop and reverse forest and soil degradation.

The project in  São Tomé and Príncipe is being led by FAO and was officially launched as part of the global TRI programme in August 2018 with a ceremony attended by the main partners. After the setup of the project team, inception workshops were organized on the two main islands of São Tomé (13 November) and Príncipe (15 November) to mark the beginning of the project. The São Tomé and Príncipe workshop was opened by HE the Minister of Agriculture, and was attended by approximately 50 representatives from national and local institutions, civil society, and the private sector. Thirty representatives from the main stakeholder groups participated in the workshop in Príncipe, which was opened by the Authorities of the Autonomous Region. During both events, the national project team and FAO representatives provided a detailed introduction with a description of the project, its objectives, governance and partnership framework, and working lines. The FAO team facilitated a lively debate in which all participants could provide feedback and suggestions on the implementation and strategic guidelines of the project.

The new project centres on four interlinked components including policy and advocacy, capacity development, knowledge management, and the development of partnerships to harness domestic public financing structures, designing new financial products to support landscape restoration activities and achieve a more conducive environment for FLR financing.  

The island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) is home to some of the richest and most diverse forest ecosystems in Africa. The country’s fast-growing population has had a significant impact on the native forests, which are largely restricted to remote valleys and inaccessible mountain areas. Higher and increasingly competitive demands for food, energy, and land are accelerating the degradation of natural resources and ecosystems, which reduces their resilience to climate change. Approximately one-third of the forests have been converted into shade plantations and agroforestry systems that produce mostly coffee and cocoa, the country’s key export crops. STP faces the typical handicaps of a small island economy: high vulnerability to external shocks, the inability to pursue economies of scale, a lack of basic infrastructure and services, low human capacity, and a weak private sector.

With the support of FAO’s Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism (FLRM), the Directorate of Forests and Biodiversity under the Ministry of Agriculture will lead the direct FLR interventions in priority areas on both islands, together with complementary sustainable land management initiatives. The restoration actions will target a wide range of ecosystems, including native forests with different degrees of degradation in the buffer zones of the protected areas that span approximately one-third of both islands, mangroves, and shadow forests that are critical for the cultivation of cash crops such as organic and high-quality cocoa, coffee, pepper and vanilla. In total, some 35 500 hectares of forest and agroforestry landscapes will be directly targeted with a broad range of interventions and management techniques.

For more information contact: [email protected] or click here.

Marco Pagliani (FAO)