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Many projects and activities
FSC and PAFC recertification audits for forestry management and for chain of custody (CoC) were carried out successfully at our two sites in Bambidie and Owendo. With this continued high level and our dual certification, we remain the pioneering company in sustainable forest management in the tropics.
The CoC audit was performed online due to travel restrictions, which was a particular challenge for both our team and the auditors.
In addition to our certification activities, our projects in the past year included the following:
- At the beginning of the school year, we carried out another school supplies campaign. School supplies procured in large quantities were given to the children of our employees at reduced prices, enabling them to start school successfully.
- Our public-private partnership on fauna protection with the ministry responsible for forestry and the NGO Conservation Justice continued with growing success. Employees of the three partners stationed in Bambidie regularly patrol our forest to prevent poaching and to protect wildlife. The project has already had considerable success, underscoring the importance of this partnership. The necessary skills can be guaranteed and the fauna can be protected effectively only thanks to the cooperation of all three partners. Project financing is secured until the end of 2022. Follow-up financing is currently being sought with the goal of expanding the project even further.
- Our engagement on behalf of protecting flora and fauna is also being noticed by the media. In 2021, we welcomed two film teams to our operation, including one from Arte. Filming means significant extra work, but it also allows us to reach a large audience and generate interest in sustainable forestry. The films are scheduled to be released in 2022 and 2023.
- The P3FAC-AFRITIMB research project was continued. The goal of this project is to study forest dynamics in the Congo Basin and to better understand those dynamics in the context of sustainable forest management. In order to provide researchers with reliable reference data, we have excluded one zone from forest management for this purpose. The data continues to be provided to the AfriTRON and RAINFOR global research projects. We have also actively supported other research projects of universities and NGOs from Gabon, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United States, Germany, France, and Switzerland.
- Because of the pandemic, external training once again had to be reduced to a minimum in 2021. Nevertheless, we were able to conduct numerous training sessions for our logging teams with internal experts. The goal is to perfect the knowledge and skills of our employees in reduced impact logging. Occupational health and safety briefings are carried out several times a week by our safety officers in order to guarantee continuous training and sensitization of our employees. At the end of 2021, we were able to resume several essential external first aid courses.
- The cultural offerings and activities of the Centre Culturel were also impaired, but some activities could still be carried out: The Centre Culturel has also created the campaign “le centre culture vient chez vous”. Some activities are being moved to the neighbourhoods of Bambidie to give a wide audience access to our social project.
Precious Woods Gabon in brief
PW Gabon consists of two companies: CEB (Compagnie Equatoriale des Bois) and TGI (Tropical Gabon Industrie). Since 2007, PW Gabon has been managing a tropical forest in Eastern Gabon across a concession area of 596 800 hectares. In 2014, a protected area of 19 900 hectares was separated out. Starting in October 2020, the veneer company (TGI) was spun off and TGI now holds a stake of 49 % in Compagnie des placages de la Lowé (CPL). CEB employs 771 persons and CPL about 200. Each year, approximately 240 000 cubic meters of logs are harvested. The company operates according to a sustainable forest management plan that ensures that no more timber is harvested per hectare than will grow back within a harvest cycle of 25 years. PW Gabon runs two sawmills and a small moulding plant in Bambidie, the centre base of PW Gabon’s forestry operation. The CPL rotary veneer factories for okoumé veneer and selected hardwoods are located in Owendo, a suburb of the port city Libreville. The main export markets for PW Gabon’s manufactured timber products are Europe, South Africa, and Asia. PW Gabon’s forestry operation has been FSC-certified since October 2008 and the veneer chain of custody since January 2010. The forestry operation has also been PAFC-certified since 2017. Both operations were PAFC-certified for CoC in 2018.