First Africa-China AFORPOLIS workshop, Yaoundé 2019- Programme
Since the early 2000s, the increasing activities by Chinese companies – in forestland conversions including for logging, agribusiness, mining and infrastructure development– have caught special international attention because of the related sustainability challenges. These Chinese increasing investments and trades in Africa are partly driven by the China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), with significant ecological and social implications for African countries under deforestation pressure. In the same vein, China has become Africa’s biggest trading partner, reaching a trading value of 203.98 billion USD in 2018 with 20% increase from 2017. In timber trade sectors, China has become a major export destination of the timber-rich African countries such as those in the Congo Basin including Cameroon. By estimation, more than 75% of Africa’s timber production was exported to China in 2017. This trend is predicated to keep rising, notably because of the growing wood demand in China. These Chinese investments and related trade implications have been disputed for their environmental (biodiversity, ecosystem services, climate change mitigation) and social (forest-dependent people’s livelihood, labour conditions, etc.) effects in Africa.
The workshop aims to: (i) elucidate the effects of Chinese investments in forest sector in Africa; (ii) explore opportunities to enhance and promote sustainability in Chinese forestry investments; and (iii) promoting a science-policy multi-stakeholders dialogue and interactions on Chinese forest-related investments in Africa.
This workshop is organised by the African Forest Policies and Politics (AFORPOLIS) organisation and the Global Environmental Institute (GEI) – China in cooperation with the University of Göttingen in Germany, the University of Dschang in Cameroon, the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, The Congo basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) – Cameroon.