China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform: Report of an inception event and future agenda
China’s relationship with Africa is deepening. As Chinese interests in African forests increase, opinion formers and policy workers in Africa and China need to be better linked in order to shape policy and investment decisions, to ensure good management of forests and the timber trade, and support local livelihoods. This report highlights key discussions held at the launch event of the China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform co-hosted by the International Institute for Environment and Development, the Chinese Academy of Forestry and the Global Environmental Institute in March 2013 in Beijing, China. Over two days, participants discussed and debated the perception and available evidence on China-Africa links, from African and Chinese perspectives.
There is huge potential for Chinese engagements in Africa’s forest sector to support good forest management and sustainable forest product trade between Africa and China. Together, the Platform participants identified priority issues for joint research and action focused on: guidelines, standards, principles and legislation in Africa and China affecting the activities of Chinese forest enterprises in African countries; scales and types of effective forest management, and related issues such as land~and forest tenure; cross-sectoral analysis to understand how Chinese investments in non-forest sector investments impact on forest governance; timber trade and forestry investments involvingChinese companies in specific African countries; and Chinese domestic market regulations and consumer priorities. A second Platform event will be held in Africa in 2014 and focus on reviewing progress made on the above research and action, and on sharpening further actions to improve forest governance