Integrated sustainable land use planning

The Project

Grande Mayumba is a public-private partnership formed between the Gabonese Republic, represented by the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations du Gabon (CDC Gabon), and SFM Africa Limited (SFM Africa) to consolidate and sustainably develop a forest land area of 631,100 hectares and a marine area of 260,900 hectares in Nyanga Province in southern Gabon.

SFM Africa is an experienced developer of integrated land use plans in Africa, specialising in sustainable forestry management and climate-smart, conservation-led development.

Grande Mayumba holds a 25-year state lease – bail emphytéotique – (automatically renewable for 25 years), which includes all terrestrial land use rights to develop the project site on the basis of ecologically sound and economically optimal long-term land management use rights allocation, the Grande Mayumba Sustainable Development Plan. The project effectively serves as a pilot for Gabon’s National Land-Use Plan and was developed in accordance with the country’s Sustainable Development Law, promulgated in 2014, which sets out the principles, objectives and financial mechanisms to ensure sustainable development in Gabon.

The Grande Mayumba Sustainable Development Plan sets out in detail how we will establish new forestry, agriculture, agroforestry, ecotourism and fisheries businesses in the region, supported by appropriate transport, power, communications and municipal infrastructure. These businesses will execute integrated, inclusive, verifiable strategies for achieving environmental and economic sustainability in the project area through the securitisation of environmental rights and natural resource values attributable to the land.

201,000 hectares

Conservation arc covering coastal, estuarine, mountain and savannah ecosystems, equivalent to a third of the total project area.

213,000 ha

Sustainable forestry

110,000 ha

Agricultural land encompassing savannahs and degraded forests

63,000 ha

Co-managed community forests and agricultural land

14,000 ha

Urban, municipal and infrastructure development

The Grande Mayumba Components

Forestry Timber Processing Agribusiness Fisheries Ecotourism Infrastructure

Grande Mayumba holds the rights over a consolidated block of forestry concessions covering about 400,000 hectares in the Nyanga province, which has been reduced to 213,000 hectares to focus exclusively on operations suitable for sustainable harvesting.

In April 2019, Grande Mayumba agreed to merge its forestry and timber processing operations with CoraWood Gabon (CWG), which holds a 235,000 hectare forestry concession in southern Gabon, comprehensive timber processing facilities in Port-Gentil, and is part of Corà Group, which has been Italy’s leading importer and distributor of timber products for over 100 years.

The partnership with CWG will create robust and integrated sustainable harvesting operations over 435,000 hectares. On a 25-year rotation, the annual area available for sustainable harvesting is approximately 16,000 hectares per annum, equivalent to approximately 90,000 to 100,000 cubic meters of roundwood. Grande Mayumba will also enter into forest management and processing agreements with selected small-scale concessions, representing up to an additional 50,000 cubic meters of roundwood per year, and we will restore and integrate 13,000 hectares of degraded forests into the forestry zone.

2. Timber Processing

The partnership with CWG will encompass new timber processing infrastructure built in Mayumba – encompassing primary, secondary and tertiary transformation (including kiln drying, flooring, decking and furniture-making facilities) to produce veneer, plywood, export grade lumber as well as other finished and semi-finished products – with the capacity to process over 150,000 cubic metres of wood per annum.
The partnership will leverage both parties’ extensive experience in Gabon’s forestry and processing sectors and help create an integrated forestry, timber and logistics production chain in Gabon with improved production volumes and efficiencies. Local processing will ensure greater value is retained in-country through the creation of a vibrant local industry. Together, the forestry and timber processing activities will create over 300 local jobs.

3. Agribusiness

We have identified several high potential perennial crops for the project area, including sugar cane and avocados, in addition to annual crops like rice. As Gabon produces agricultural products below levels of domestic consumption, demand will be high for locally-produced products. Value addition through processing will increase returns whilst building local skills and boosting productivity. Sugar cane production will supply a growing regional market and bioethanol will be produced as a by-product for domestic consumption, helping Gabon to reduce imports of refined fuels. It is estimated that once the potential area of 25,000 hectares has been attained, approximately 3,600 people will be employed as regular and seasonal workers.

4. Fisheries

The Grande Mayumba area has extensive marine resources with potential for sustainable fishing, fish farming and fish processing. The project will establish a fisheries business with local organisations to improve fisheries management, sustainably increase production and quality and develop a market segmentation strategy to access new markets and drive revenues. This will include creating infrastructure for the cooling, freezing, processing and packaging of fish, as well as upgrading the current community fishing fleet to increase capacity and safety. In total, the fisheries business will employ close to 100 staff, generating a significant impact on livelihoods in the Mayumba region.

5. Ecotourism

Only in Gabon can you see Africa’s great apes in untouched tropical forest, forest elephants on the beach, hippos in the surf and whales breaching out in the Atlantic Ocean. Grande Mayumba will develop Gabon’s iconic natural environment sustainably through the establishment of a world class ecotourism circuit. We have entered into an agreement with the Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux (ANPN) to build an innovative network of five or more ultra-luxury safari lodges across the National Parks system, commencing in Loango National Park, one of the most biodiverse areas of the Congo Basin. High-end lodgings spread over seaside, estuaries, savannah and forest will be complemented by highly experienced and knowledgeable staff and an abundance of wildlife, including one of Africa’s most diverse primate populations and some of the largest populations of forest elephants. Guests will able able to visit a great apes research and visitor centre as part of an immersive experience in the wild and will be provided with unrivalled access to pristine forest and marine habitats.

6. Infrastructure

Logistics, shipping and loading facilities will be built at a new port location in Mangali to support the Grande Mayumba businesses and the burgeoning regional economy. In order to meet the requirements of significant anticipated population growth as a result of the Grande Mayumba project and ensure this does not result in a degradation of the forest and surrounding areas, we have developed a detailed municipal infrastructure management plan. The plan foresees the creation of new settlements to accommodate staff, as well as major investments in water, sanitation, electricity provision, roads, storm drains and solid waste management in the Mayumba area.

7.

Timeline

Project commencement

2011

Detailed Grande Mayumba Sustainable Development Plan developed and iterated

2012 - 2018

Signing of New Grande Mayumba Agreement with the Gabonese Republic

Oct
2018

Signing of ecotourism and sustainable development agreement with ANPN

Feb
2019

Signing of investment agreement with Caisse de Depots et de Consignations (CDC)

Issuance of public service port convention by OPRAG and long term forestry management plan and concession agreement by the Ministry of Forests, Environment and Climate Planning

Mar
2019

Establishment of forestry Joint Venture with Cora Wood

Apr 219

Commencement of five year investment and development plan

June 2019

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