Sustainable investment in African forest resources highlighted at China-Africa event

News, 20 November 2017
Chinese and African stakeholders discussed how to protect Africa's forest resources and ensure that Chinese investment generates benefits for local African economies at a meeting in Mozambique.

Chinese and African delegates visit a nursery and learn about a reforestation project in Pemba, Mozambique (Photo: Duncan Macqueen/IIED)

More than 90 Chinese and African stakeholders took part in a meeting on forestry governance in Pemba, Mozambique, from 23-25 October 2017. The meeting focused on ways to develop innovative pro-forest and pro-poor business initiatives in the context of Chinese investment in African natural resources.  

The event was the fourth international meeting of the China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform since its launch in 2013. The learning platform aims to build bridges between African and Chinese stakeholders and strengthen governance of forests. 

Delegates included representatives from African timber-exporting countries, Chinese officials, private sector businesses, and civil society organisations. Participants came from 10 countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, Zambia, Mozambique, China, the UK and the USA.

China's imports of African timber and investments in land use in forest areas are both increasing, and China is now the top importer of timber from several African nations.

The China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform brings together forest governance stakeholders, including heads of government and forest departments from eight African countries, representatives from the Chinese Academy of Forestry, the Global Environmental Institute, IIED, WWF as well as other international organisations.


The first day of the meeting focused on understanding the work of Chinese businesses in Africa and looking at African policies relevant to Chinese investment and trade.

On the second day delegates visited a timber processing company and a local tree nursery, and day three focused on the way forward for shaping sustainable forestry and China-Africa partnerships.

The detailed agenda is available to download (PDF).


The presentations from the meeting are available on IIED's SlideShare platform, as follows:

The event was hosted by the National Directorate of Forests of Mozambique (DINAF), Terra Firma, World Wildlife Fund and IIED.


Khanh Tran-Thanh (, group manager, Natural Resources research group

Notes to editors

About the China-Africa Forest Governance Project: Between 2014 and 2017, IIED is working in China and four African countries: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique and Uganda. They are countries in which the scale of Chinese investment and trade in forest-related sectors is significant and, in the case of Cameroon and DRC, where there is ongoing timber legality work supported by the European Commission.

IIED's main partners in China include the Research Institute of Forestry Policy and Information at the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF) and Global Environmental Institute (GEI).

Lead African partners are: Centre for Environment and Development(Cameroon), Reseaux Ressources Naturelles (DRC), Terra Firma (Mozambique), Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (Uganda). Internationally, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is a critical partner whose expertise in engaging with sustainable corporate practices is of great value.

The China-Africa Forest Governance Project is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

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