The African Forest Forum (AFF) is a pan-African non-governmental organization with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. It is an association of individuals who share the quest for and commitment to the sustainable management, use and conservation of the forest and tree resources of Africa for the socio- economic wellbeing of its people and for the stability and improvement of its environment. The purpose of AFF is to provide a platform and create an enabling environment for independent and objective analysis, advocacy and advice on relevant policy and technical issues pertaining to achieving sustainable management, use and conservation of Africa’s forest and tree resources as part of efforts to reduce poverty, promote gender equality, and economic and social development. Through all its programmes and activities, AFF seeks to promote the empowerment of all marginalized groups particularly women and youth who continue to be vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and whose representation, priorities and needs are rarely adequately addressed in the forestry sector.

To this end, AFF, with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is implementing a project titled “Strengthening management and use of forest ecosystems for sustainable development in Africa”. The project seeks to generate and share knowledge and information through partnerships in ways that will provide inputs into policy options and capacity building efforts for improved forest management that will better address climate change impacts as well as contribute to poverty alleviation and environmental protection in Africa.

To this end the project has three priority objectives, namely a) To identify and promote opportunities for protecting and sustainably managing the forest resource base to enhance supply of ecosystem goods and services. In this case AFF examined how forest planning and forest management has evolved in several African countries b) To evaluate sawn timber value chains in selected countries in Africa in order to improve efficiency in production, and c) To examine the potential for production and use of liquid biofuels in Africa as a means towards developing green and circular national economies. To pursue these priority objectives, AFF conducted a number of studies with the view to generate up to date knowledge and information for use by African forestry stakeholders to strengthen their capacity for forest management so as to increase the supply of forest ecosystem goods and services.


Africa’s forests cover more than 636 million hectares, representing 23% of the continent’s landmass. The forest landscape comprising considerable forest variations including the Congo Basin, the Guinean forests, the coastal forests, the Afromontane forests, and many other types of woodlands, is characterized by exceptional richness in biodiversity of high ecological and economic importance. These forests provide valuable goods and services for forest dependent communities. Both rural and urban households are heavily reliant on wood fuel for energy, and the forest products contribute considerably to both local and national economies. Forest-dependent communities also derive intangible benefits from forests through their functions as cultural symbols and sacred sites. Forests are vital for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa. However, these forests are threatened by deforestation and forest degradation that impact on forest cover leading to a general decline.

To reverse the current trends in deforestation and forest degradation in Africa, strategies need to be designed and implemented that address the drivers of forest loss. Extra sectoral drivers that negatively impact forestry are agriculture, energy policies, urban expansion, mining, land policies, etc. A balance between economic development and environmental conservation at all levels is critical to ensure the survival of forests and to secure the supply of forest ecosystem goods and the prosperity of forest-dependent communities. This calls for a deep understanding of the existing land use management policies and practices; and their capacity to protect forest land, with the view to inform best sustainable land management practice that explicitly incorporate biodiversity and ecosystem services, conservation needs and integrate environmental and socio-economic considerations at the landscape level.

Within the forest ecosystem it is also critical to have a clear understanding of the situation of the forests and ongoing trends within them. The overall changes occurring in forest ecosystems are not fully understood as well as the rate and extent of changes the drivers of forest loss create in the ecosystems and on forest dependent communities. A deep understanding of the dynamism of drivers of forest cover change and viable approaches to address them is critical to inform management approaches that would secure benefits for current and future generations.

Wood extraction is one of the key direct drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in Africa that is characterized by a high proportion of informal and small-scale operations. The informality, often mixed with illegality limits the potential of value chain development. Consequently, the timber products do not provide a sufficiently profitable alternative to environmentally unsustainable practices. There is a growing concern on how the continent can meet the needs for an increasing demand for forest products due to population growth and rapid urbanization and simultaneously managing the forest resources sustainably. This calls for improving the efficiency of the timber production processes through improved productivity that could reduce wood wastage and adverse environmental impacts. Sawn timber is the biggest mechanically processed forest product in many African countries. A better understanding of the state of the sawmilling industry will be valuable to inform the design of strategies for improving this sector as well as on securing sustainable industrial roundwood production.

Forest management requires the execution of silvicultural practices in a forest while at the same time taking into account economic, social, ecological and cultural aspects. For this to happen, a plan is a prerequisite which makes planning an important component of sustainable forest management. The planning process has to be inclusive; to allow various stakeholders including all gender groups to participate in the development of the plans and also in forest management. Reliable, timely and adequate information is critical to guide the planning process and management of forests to achieve socioeconomic and environmental policies and objectives.  However, some African forests lack good management plans and are not managed sustainably. An assessment of the forest planning process and forest management is important to inform measures to increase the supply of ecosystem goods and services originating from the various forest types in Africa.

Biofuel production in Africa is being promoted because of its potential for land restoration and environmental benefits, such as reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions associated with decreased use of fossil fuels. However, investment in biofuel production requires a balance between food production, forest production and conservation because Africa is also striving in addressing food security for its burgeoning population while at the same time sustaining ecosystems services from its forests’ landscape. This therefore requires targeted policy and strategy frameworks to guide responsible bio-fuel investments in the continent.  A better understanding of the scale of production of liquid biofuels sector could facilitate planning the growth and development of this sector in ways that generate incomes to local people and nations, without compromising food and environmental security.

AFF commissioned the following Africa-wide studies that generated findings that have been produced as technical reports, policy briefs and fact sheets as listed below:

  1. Analysis of existing sustainable land use management policies and practices in different forest types specifically moist forests, mangroves, woodlands, and parklands in Africa. Four sub-regional technical reports (central, eastern, southern and west Africa) together with 4 policy briefs and 4 fact sheets produced in English and French.
  2. Assessment of dynamics of drivers of forest cover change, more specifically those that drive deforestation and forest degradation in different forest types in Africa. Two sub-regional technical reports (central and west Africa; and eastern and southern Africa) together with 2 policy briefs and 2 fact sheets produced in English and French.
  3. Assessment of the sawn timber value chains in selected countries in Africa: Six country technical reports, 6 policy briefs and 6 fact sheets produced in English and French.
  4. Evaluation of ways for improving (i) forest planning and (ii)forest management in selected countries in Anglophone, Lusophone, and Francophone Africa. Two sub-regional reports (Anglophone and Lusophone; and Francophone Africa) together with training modules produced in English only.
  5. Assessment of the potential of African countries for the production and use of liquid biofuels as a strategy for developing green and circular economies in selected countries. Four sub-regional technical reports (central, eastern, southern and west Africa) together with 4 policy briefs and 4 fact sheets produced in English and French.

For its 2023 annual plan of work the African Forest Forum is recruiting 5 (five) experts to undertake review of the above knowledge products in order to improve their quality prior to the dissemination to forestry stakeholders in Africa and beyond. 


Review and edit the above-mentioned knowledge products that will contribute to strengthening capacity of forestry stakeholders to sustainably manage African forestry resources in the changing socio-economic context.


The specific tasks for the assignment include:

  • Reviewing, editing, and strengthening of the above listed knowledge products following AFF guidelines to produce final versions ready for dissemination/publication.
  • Producing Africa-wide syntheses of the different knowledge products for each broad area.

The tasks in this TOR are one-person month workload commencing on 01 July 2023 and spread over a period of two months. The consultant shall work from own location but in close consultation with relevant staff at the AFF Secretariat.

  • Have a PhD degree in natural resources management, forestry, environment management or any related area;
  • Be an expert with proven knowledge and at least five years’ post MSc experience in forest ecology, forest management, forest administration, wood science, etc.;
  • Have good scientific writing skills with good publications record in reputable journals;
  • Experience as an editor, editorial board member or reviewer of a relevant journal will be an added advantage; and
  • Be fluent in both English and French for the knowledge products in both languages, and fluent in English for knowledge products in English only.


  • Reviewed and clean revised documents.
  • Reviewed and clean versions of the Africa-wide syntheses.


Please email, and attach your application containing:

  • Cover letter stating how you meet the above qualifications and experience requirements and indicating the title/s of the study or studies you choose to review.
  • Curriculum vitae.

With the subject line: Consultancy No 01- Experts to review and synthesise knowledge products on sustainable land management approaches and development of liquid biofuel sector in Africa” to: Dr Doris Mutta through, Dr Djibril S. Dayamba through and copy to

Application deadline is 26th June 2023.