Thinking beyond the canopy

Discussion forum 3. Multiple-use management of forested landscapes

Focal Point: Paolo Omar Cerutti
Organisation(s): CIFOR
Contact details: CIFOR, P.O. Box 30677 – 00100 Nairobi, Kenya; Email:


Historically, only “formal” and mainly state-owned units of forested land have been considered for active management in the Congo Basin. More recently, alongside those formal units, rural economies have been thriving on informal harvesting and exchanges of timber, non-timber forest products, wildlife and minerals. With economies and population rapidly growing and conflicts over alternative resources and land uses on the rise, it is becoming more evident that forested landscapes can only be effectively and more sustainably managed if i) their formal and informal spaces are considered as one, notably in state-led, long-term planning and development exercises, and ii) their multiple use potentials are assessed, accounted and planned for. This forum will discuss the tenet that only by allowing and managing a spatial cohabitation of interests through the multiple use management of forested landscapes, the countries of the Congo Basin will reach their planned developmental objectives.

Key questions the panel will address

  1. What conditions are necessary to facilitate the shift from sustainable timber production to responsible multiple use forest management?
  2. How to adapt the logging concession model to the multiple use regimes? What are the alternative options?
  3. How best to adapt formal forest management models (concession, community forests…) to include and secure informal forest resources sectors?


  1. Keynote speaker: Robert Nasi, CIFOR
  2. Respondent: Ralph Ridder, ATIBT
  3. Respondent: Ousseynou Ndoye, FAO
  4. Respondent: Alain Billand, CIRAD
  5. Moderator: Jean-Claude Nguinguiri, FAO

Background reading

  1. Karsenty, A. 2007. Overview of Industrial Forest Concessions and Concession-based Industry in Central and West Africa and Considerations of Alternatives. Background Paper for the Rights and Resources Initiative’s efforts in Central and West Africa.
  2. Nasi R., A. Billand and N. Vanvliet. Managing for timber and biodiversity in the Congo Basin. Forest Ecology and Management. 268 (March 2012): 103-11.
  3. Guariguata M., P. Sist and R. Nasi. 2012. Multiple use management of tropical production forests: How can we move from concept to reality? Forest Ecology and Management. 263 (November 2011): 170-74.  doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2011.09.032
  4. FAO. State of the World’s Forests.
  5. Clark C.J., J.R. Poulsen, R. Malonga, and P.W. Elkan. Logging Concessions Can Extend the Conservation Estate for Central African Tropical Forests. Conservation Biology 23, no. 5 (October 2009): 1281–93.