Grande Mayumba and Corà Wood Gabon to form Joint Venture to strengthen Forestry and Timber Businesses
Who is SFM Africa?
SFM Africa is an experienced developer of integrated land use plans in Africa, specialised in sustainable commercial forestry. We design sustainable, integrated land use plans which allocate rights optimally for the whole ecosystem and ensure their effective implementation. We secure and hold the land rights, raise public and private sector capital and mobilise specialist technical and institutional resources to deliver sustainable, integrated land use projects.
What role does the Gabonese Republic play in the Grande Mayumba project?
The Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations du Gabon (CDC) is a strategic partner to Grande Mayumba as the long-term development goals and sustainable nature of the project reflect CDC Gabon’s mandate to finance the development of high-quality commercial projects, catalyse inclusive economic growth and accelerate diversification. CDC Gabon holds a 40% stake in Grande Mayumba.
Grande Mayumba has also established an ecotourism and sustainable development partnership with Gabon’s National Parks Agency, which, in addition to Grande Mayumba’s existing tourism concessions, grants Grande Mayumba the exclusive option to conduct studies to expand into new concession areas in Gabon’s national parks.
What is the track record of the Grande Mayumba team in delivering similar projects?
Grande Mayumba’s leadership team has extensive experience in delivering large, complex infrastructure, forestry and ecotourism projects across Central, East and Southern Africa. We are a team of specialists with expertise in all aspects of sustainability-related project development ranging from initial conceptualisation, environmental assessments and sustainability studies, to financing, construction and operation. Grande Mayumba’s Founder and Chairman, Alan Bernstein, previously established and scaled one of the leading ecotourism operators on the continent, employing 3,000 staff across 40+ ecotourism businesses and related conservation programmes in six countries in East and Southern Africa.
What is the timeframe for the delivery of the different components of the project?
Grande Mayumba’s forestry subsidiary has been operational since 2011. Construction work on transport and logistics infrastructure will begin in Q2 2019, paving the way for the construction of the ecotourism infrastructure in Q3 2019. Grande Mayumba anticipates having an operational world-class high-end safari tourism circuit by the end of 2020.
How much capital investment is required to deliver the Grande Mayumba project?
The Grande Mayumba project requires over $150 million in capital investment in the forestry, agriculture, infrastructure, ecotourism and fisheries businesses.
Does Grande Mayumba have all the necessary permits and approvals to begin construction?
Yes. Grande Mayumba has signed all necessary core agreements with the Gabonese Republic, including an investment and development agreement with an automatically renewable 25-year state lease. Additionally, Grande Mayumba has signed an ecotourism and sustainable development agreement with the National Parks Agency (ANPN), a forestry concession agreement with the Ministry of Forests, Environment and Climate Planning and a port convention agreement with Office des Ports et Rades du Gabon (OPRAG).
How will Grande Mayumba monitor its efforts to protect carbon stocks and biodiversity?
The monitoring system for carbon stocks is based on credible measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of project activities and is one of the most critical elements in the Grande Mayumba methodology. The first step was to establish the base standing stocks of carbon in the project area through forest inventory and remote sensing. Grande Mayumba will continue to measure changes in carbon stocks and monitor threats through on the ground presence and remote sensing, with data verified by third party institutions.
Grande Mayumba’s exceptional biodiversity is the region’s greatest asset. Grande Mayumba’s activities are carefully planned to protect biodiversity through continuous monitoring and enforcement patrols in conjunction with the National Parks Agency (ANPN). Moreover, a conservation arc covering 210,000 hectares across coastal, estuarine, montane, marine and savannah ecosystems has been established.
How does the Sustainable Development Credits system work? Are these recognised and tradable outside Gabon?
A Sustainable Development Credits (SDC) system was established in Gabon in 2014 following the passing of the country’s Sustainable Development Law. Under the Law, projects that deliver sustainable benefits against an agreed baseline are granted SDCs, while those that have environmental impacts above the national baseline may be required to purchase SDCs or invest in sustainable development projects.
How does Grande Mayumba advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
Grande Mayumba aims to make a significant contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, notably in the Mayumba area where the project will have the greatest direct impact. The project contributes to the achievement of the SDGs across a wide range of Goals, most notably including: No Poverty (SDG1), Zero Hunger (SDG2), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG8), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG9), Reduced Inequality (SDG10), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG11), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG12), Climate Action (SDG13), Life Below Water (SDG14), and Life on Land (SDG15).
How will Grande Mayumba ensure appropriate corporate governance standards are adhered to? Which international standards and principles does the project reflect and adhere to?
Grande Mayumba’s Corporate Development team, led by Muriel Dube, is responsible for ensuring appropriate corporate governance standards reflecting international best practices and local regulations, including the Paris Accord, UN Global Compact, ISO 14 000 and the Gold Standard, are adhered to. This includes the continuous monitoring of governance standards, identification of red flags and development of mitigation strategies.
What does success look like for Grande Mayumba?
Success for Grande Mayumba means preserving the region’s unparalleled biodiversity and ensuring that huge carbon losses and environmental degradation are avoided, whilst creating a resilient and sustainable local economy for generations to come. Grande Mayumba aims to pioneer holistic and integrated development in Africa and prove empirically that conservation-led development is the key to sustainable growth in the Congo Basin.