The first part of this study aims to evaluate national forest legislation currently in effect in twelve sub-Saharan African countries within the framework of the present international discussion surrounding forest policy and sustainable forest sector development. Rather than a comprehensive analysis of structure and contents of the particular forest laws, the objective is to reveal both consistencies and inconsistencies between internationally claimed standards and legislation in place and to analyse to what extent current legislation leaves room for the integration of innovations.
The study is structured according to five dominant themes: Integration of forestry into comprehensive development and environment policies, diversification of management systems, participation and new roles for stakeholders, value-added forest products and services, and complementary measures to promote an appropriate framework.
The analysis of forest legislation illustrates that the most important aspects of forestry are addressed in the forest laws of the countries under consideration. However, they are treated at varying intensity, and more or less in accordance with the standards and guiding principles established in the international debate. The main shortcomings are to be found especially in the co-ordination of the development of the forest sector with the general economic and social development of a country, reform of the public forestry administration and participation of stakeholders, assistance to forest owners and compensation for social and environmental services of forests.
In order to shed light on the gap between existing legislation and the actual relevance of this legislation, the second part of this study goes a step further by addressing the conditions of and the obstacles to the implementation of forest legislation. The investigation is based on a written questionnaire, which was distributed to representatives of the forest administrations and experts working in German technical co-operation projects.
The results of the questionnaire clearly indicate shortcomings both in terms of the implementation of forest laws and in terms of the administrative preconditions in the selected countries. The most severe constraint on the implementation of forest legislation is the current state of the forestry administrations. The reactions to the questionnaire illustrate that the forestry administrations are unable to fulfil their legally assigned mandate.
2001; 146p.; 17x24cm; paperback
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