2 April 2003
WORKSHOP FOR CIVIL SOCIETY INPUT TO THE AFRICAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON FOREST LAW ENFORCEMENT AND GOVERNANCE
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A workshop convened in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 6-7 March 2003 to develop civil society input for the Africa Ministerial Conference on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (AFLEG).

The AFLEG meeting was scheduled to take place 1-4 April 2003, but has been postponed due to the war in Iraq.

The workshop was organized by IUCN-The […]

A workshop convened in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 6-7 March 2003 to develop civil society input for the Africa Ministerial Conference on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (AFLEG).

The AFLEG meeting was scheduled to take place 1-4 April 2003, but has been postponed due to the war in Iraq. The workshop was organized by IUCN-The World Conservation Union with sponsorship from the UK Department for International Development and was attended by some 20 civil society members from the West African countries of Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Senegal, Togo, Liberia, Mali and Guinea.
Workshop participants brainstormed and shared experiences on forest law and governance issues in the region. They discussed case studies on illegal logging, timber trade, the bush meat crisis, and legal and institutional problems encountered in the drafting and implementation of forest laws and noted the state of West Africa’s forest resources, which are threatened by bushfires and illegal logging. Participants agreed that sustainably managed forests are fundamental to good health, increased economic growth, productivity and environmental protection. Participants called on their governments to develop clear national policies for the conservation of forests resources as integral parts of national strategies for sustainable development and poverty reduction, and to strengthen policies that may be working well already. They stressed the need for networking among African civil society and urged African leaders to partner with African civil organizations for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the AFLEG outcomes. Participants developed an action plan for citizens to influence decision makers in their respective countries, both before and after the ministerial conference, and they selected participants from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Senegal, Benin, Liberia, Guinea and Niger to represent West African civil society members at the ministerial conference.
The AFLEG conference is being coordinated by the World Bank and sponsored by the governments of the United Kingdom, France and the United States. Its objective is to produce a ministerial declaration committing African governments to work on forest governance issues and an action plan to improve forest governance that has the support of governments and non-governmental organizations. For more information on the workshop and conference see IUCN’s meeting report and press release, accessible through: http://www.iucn.org/places/brao/eng/programmes/forets/afleg/workshop/intro.htm


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