African-Swedish collaboration programme on Sustainable Forest Management

Final report on the planning phase of the project

This report contains the outcomes of the planning phase of a joint project between the African Forest Forum and the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. The project started in early 2009 as one of seven activities under Sida’s three-year grant to AFF’s initial operations. The project is described more in detail in section 1.2.

The African Forest Forum (AFF; www.afforum.org) was established in 2007 as an outcome of the Sida-supported project “Sustainable Forest Management in Africa” (SFM in Africa, 2002-2008). It is an association of individuals with a commitment to, and interest in, the sustainable manage-ment, use and conservation of Africa’s forest and tree resources. Today (early 2011), there are c. 600 members from all over the continent and beyond. One of the main purposes of the Forum is to provide independent and objective analysis, advice and advocacy to national, regional and inter-national institutions and actors on how forest and tree resources can contribute to the reduction of poverty, promotion of economic and social development, and enhancing the environ-mental stability of the continent.

Together with the African Forest Research Network at the African Academy of Sciences (AFORNET/AAS) and FAO, KSLA played an important role in the conception and implementation of the two phases of the “SFM in Africa” project, which, among many other things, resulted in the initiation and early operation of the AFF. The KSLA office in Stockholm carried out extensive administrative and financial management support activities in connection with the grants from Sida for the implementation of the two project phases. There was also a strong professional input into the SFM project from KSLA, which has continued since the establishment of AFF.

As a result of the positive experience derived from this mutually beneficial collaboration, it was a strong desire by AFF and KSLA, when the former acquired its legal status in late 2007 and early 2008, and when it became fully operational in its own right on 1st November 2008, that the collaboration should continue. This is now regulated in a Memorandum of Understanding. One of the aspects of this MoU is the current “African-Swedish collaboration programme on Sustainable Forest Management”, of which the planning or inception phase has been carried out during 2009-2010.

The present report is based on a wide-ranging set of consultations with potentially interested stakeholders in Eastern and Southern Africa and in Sweden by the undersigned team of experts.