Between 2010 and 2021, Gabon's forestry economy grew by almost 400%, according to an official document published on the occasion of the One Summit Forest, while the number of jobs in the sector increased from 8,400 in 2010 to 30,000 in 2022. This dynamism is It is mainly due to the growth of the timber sector, whose contribution to the national GDP has increased from 116 billion FCFA to 444 billion FCFA in 11 years.
Specifically, the contribution of forestry to national wealth has increased by 300% to reach 157 billion CFA francs, while the contribution of the timber industry has increased from 62 billion CFA francs to 287 billion CFA francs, which represents an increase from 463%.
Wood has become Gabon's second export product, behind oil and ahead of manganese, with 15% of exports in 2021. The country has also become Africa's second largest producer of sawn timber (10th in world) and 1st in plates (2nd in the world).
For the authorities, this result is the result of the ban on exporting logs applied by the State in 2009. This measure implies that all wood exported by the country undergoes at least a first transformation. To make this dynamic compatible with forest protection objectives, the Government also made FSC certification mandatory for all forestry companies operating in the country in 2018.
Companies had until the end of 2022 to comply, but the decision "could not be fully fulfilled due to Covid-19." It will be applied in the coming years," Le Nouveau Gabon has learned from an official source, which has also revealed that "a tax system that favors certified forests has been put in place to encourage the sector to move towards certification."
Currently, 16 million hectares of forest permits are managed in the country. «Our logging is selective, with an average of only 2 trees cut per hectare, once every 25 years. The ecosystem remains intact and reforestation occurs naturally,” say the authorities.