A Better World - Volume 4

[ ] 75 L ife on L and energy needs. Charcoal production in the country increased by 22 per cent in the ten years to 2012 and firewood produc- tion increased by 4 per cent. The Ahua forest supplies wood for charcoal to meet the cooking and heating needs of the citizens of nearby Dimbokro and Abidjan, and the charcoal business is a significant employer of women and youths. With ITTO support, and an awareness of the ecologi- cal impacts of the charcoal business, the MALEBI women made the decision to reforest and restore part of the 4,500ha Ahua forest using species such as kassod ( Cassia siamea ), samba ( Triplochiton scleroxylon ) and teak ( Tectona grandis ), and they are also growing cash crops within the plantation. The project has helped strengthen MALEBI as an institu- tion, and it has built the capacity of its members in order to establish tree nurseries, produce seedlings, and create and manage forest plantations and agroforestry plots. The women are meeting the subsistence needs of their families for food and wood fuel while rehabilitating the forest to ensure its longterm sustainability. Among the benefits of the project is an increase in income for the women involved in the charcoal business, which has translated into a higher quality of life for their families. In the village of Tromambo, this income enabled women to fund the construction of a water pump, which now provides fresh water for the whole village. The MALEBI women’s association has helped shift atti- tudes at local and national levels towards accepting the role of rural women in forestry. The prime minister of Côte d’Ivoire endowed the project with the third National Award of Excellence for the best promoter of community development. The project also has considerable potential for replication elsewhere in the country and beyond, as recognized by a recent mission to the project site by the World Bank’s Forest Investment Programme. Building transparent and legal supply chains Like many other timber-producing countries, Guatemala has difficulty in proving the legality of its forest products. Part of the problem is that many monitoring and verification actions are carried out manually and are subject to the discretion and bureaucracy of regulatory institutions. However, the ability to demonstrate the legality — the green credentials — of forest products is crucial if those products are to be accepted and valued by global markets. In order to provide a solution to this problem, two ITTO projects have been set up to help create the Guatemala Forest Statistical Information System (SIFGUA). The aim is to increase the quality and timeliness of forest-related infor- mation, thereby increasing market transparency and trade and improving decision-making in the forest sector. SIFGUA consists of three information systems: the Electronic Forest Enterprises Information System (SEINEF); the Electronic Forest Administration System in Protected Areas; and the Electronic Forest Management System, for forests outside protected areas. SEINEF is, in effect, a timber traceability system, enabling the registration, monitoring and control of forest products as they move across the country. But its implementation An ITTO project helped to build the capacity of Penan communities to pursue new livelihood options while continuing to use the Pulong Tau buffer zone for traditional purposes Image: © W. Cluny