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The GGKP Workshop in Kinshasa (April 2-3) was well attended with over a 100 participants, largely from Africa, representing various stakeholders (government, private sector, NGOs, academe, and so on). There was a lot of energy among the participants. The plenary presentations were thought-provoking and the ensuing discussions were lively. It was clear that the audience was highly engaged and all had an insatiable appetite for good-practices and was looking for practical, ready-to-run-with, examples.
The parallel sessions at the workshop tried to fill the demand for practical tools and guidance and most were designed to be interactive and hands-on sessions. PROFOR helped with the organization and running of two of these parallel sessions. Session 2A on forest governance measurement and diagnostics drew a crowd of policymakers and researchers from several countries (Congo DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Tunisia, to name a few). Participants appreciated the hands-on role playing approach to scoring a handful of governance indicators in the context of the Republic of Sarandib, a make-believe country, with rich forest resources but weak governance. Discussions revolved around the importance of engaging all stakeholders from the outset as a means of building a momentum for change and of assigning responsibilities to implement the needed reforms. Participants expressed interest in applying the PROFOR approach in their own countries-at a decentralized level, and as a self-assessment tool for their forest agencies.
Session 2C, on climate resilience, was a popular parallel session. The presentation of the case study of Burkina Faso helped to highlight the relationship between modernization of the wood fuel energy and the impact on the emergence of a green economy. Many questions were asked by participants and most pertained to: (a) specific recommended actions to implement the strategy, and (b) developments since the 80s on this theme of domestic fuels. This last issue opened discussions on recent developments observed in African countries on strengthening the decentralized management of forests (particularly in West Africa), the growing environmental awareness of the population and the emergence of new technologies which can contribute to the modernization of the wood energy sector.