The African Union (AU)
The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999). The AU is guided by its vision of “An Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.” The work of the AU is implemented through several principal decision making organs:- The Assembly of Heads of State and Government, the Executive Council, the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), Specialised Technical Committees (STCs), the Peace and Security Council and The African Union Commission. The AU structure promotes participation of African citizens and civil society through the Pan-African Parliament and the Economic, Social & Cultural Council (ECOSOCC).
Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC)
The Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) is the primary authority for decision-making and coordination of sub-regional actions and initiatives pertaining to the conservation and sustainable management of the Congo Basin forests. It is made up of the forestry ministers of participating Central African countries and is under the head of a secretariat. The legal basis for the Commission was laid in 1999 when the heads of state of the Republic of the Congo, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome/Principe, Gabon, and the Central African Republic convened and produced the Yaoundé Declaration. The Declaration recognizes the protection of the Congo Basin’s ecosystems as an integral component of the development process and reaffirms the signatories’ commitments to work cooperatively to promote the sustainable use of the Congo ecosystem in accordance with their social, economic, and environmental agendas.
Since its formation, COMIFAC has met regularly to discuss its agenda and develop an official Plan de Convergence, an action plan that identifies COMIFAC priorities. Based on COMIFAC’s Plan de Convergence (2003-2010), the CBFP identifies its major themes as: harmonization of forest policy and taxation, inventory of flora and fauna, ecosystem management, conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of natural resources, capacity building and community participation, research, and innovative financing mechanisms.
International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO)
ITTO is an intergovernmental organization promoting the conservation and sustainable management, use and trade of tropical forest resources. Its members represent about 80% of the world’s tropical forests and 90% of the global tropical timber trade. The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) was established under the auspices of the United Nations in 1986 amidst increasing worldwide concern for the fate of tropical forests. While almost everyone was alarmed at the rate of deforestation occurring in many tropical countries, there was also considerable agreement that the tropical timber trade was one of the keys to economic development in those same countries. ITTO develops internationally agreed policy documents to promote sustainable forest management and forest conservation and assists tropical member countries to adapt such policies to local circumstances and to implement them in the field through projects. In addition, ITTO collects, analyses and disseminates data on the production and trade of tropical timber and funds a range of projects and other action aimed at developing industries at both community and industrial scales.
African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resource Education (ANAFE)
The African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE) is a network of 134 educational institutions in 36 African countries whose objective is to strengthen the teaching of multi-disciplinary approaches to land management. The ANAFE Secretariat is hosted at the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) headquarters in Nairobi. This provides a vantage for network management, linkages with the research and development activities of ICRAF and its partners, and convenient communication facilities. Administratively, the network is attached to the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Day-to-day activities are supervised by an Executive Secretary. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) has provided financial support to ANAFE since July 1991. Members contribute to the cost of managing specific activities. ANAFE works closely with Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resource Management initiatives in Africa.