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West African countries chart a sustainable path forward with community-based forestry

The "Community-based Forestry in West Africa: The Way Forward" workshop held from October 17 to 19, 2023, in Somone, Senegal, brought together 77 experts, practitioners, and stakeholders to explore the potential of community-based forestry (CbF) in addressing climate challenges, supporting sustainable development, and preserving biodiversity in the West African subregion.

Community-based forestry had emerged as a pivotal and widely acknowledged approach in our collective efforts to attain climate objectives, with special reference to steps promoted in the framework of REDD+ process, all the while enhancing the well-being of local populations. This significance was emphatically underscored in numerous international events and declarations highlighting the indispensable role that local communities and indigenous peoples played in the grand endeavor to combat the far-reaching consequences of climate change. Their knowledge, practices, and stewardship of the environment were recognized as invaluable contributions, as they were often the first to experience the direct impacts of climate change and, simultaneously, held a deep reservoir of traditional wisdom in sustainable land and resource management.

The purpose of the workshop was to take these overarching principles and experiences as a solid foundation upon which to build. By doing so, the event aimed to further strengthen the resolve to empower and support local communities in their crucial role as environmental custodians and climate change mitigators. The workshop provided an arena for sharing best practices, fostering dialogue, and cultivating innovative solutions, all with the ultimate objective of reinforcing the collective commitment to community-based forestry as a key component in the global climate action agenda.

By: UN-REDD Programme

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