Integrated sustainable land use planning

Grande Mayumba

The Congo Basin – the world’s second largest tropical forest spanning six countries in Central Africa – is the most important global carbon sink after the Amazon. Balancing the urgent need for economic diversification in the region to reduce dependency on oil revenues with the need to create social upliftment, protect the natural environment and safeguard biodiversity has global implications.

Tropical forest covers 85% of Gabon’s territory. The 2020 Environmental Performance Index published by Yale’s Centre for Environmental Law and Policy and the Centre for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University ranks the country as the second highest performer in Africa across a range of environmental indicators.

Gabon has demonstrated leadership in pioneering new models for sustainable green growth anchored in the developmental realities of the Congo Basin. A powerful voice in the global climate change arena, the country has set out a national development strategy, Gabon Emergent, which advocates a progressive approach to economic diversification, transforming natural resources carefully and deliberately to create value today and preserve value for future generations.

Grande Mayumba is a pioneering model for sustainable green growth in the Congo Basin

The project has been designed to reflect the principles of Gabon Emergent and to incorporate globally recognised environmental and climate science standards and methodologies.

The African Conservation Development Group holds the rights to consolidate and sustainably develop a land area of 732,000 hectares in Nyanga Province in southern Gabon.

The rights are held under effective 50-year and an 83-year state leases – bails emphytéotiques – (including renewal periods), which include all terrestrial land-use rights to develop the project site on the basis of ecologically sound and economically optimal long-term land management as detailed in the Grande Mayumba Sustainable Development Plan. The project is a de facto 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 details the establishment of forestry, agriculture, agroforestry, ecotourism and fisheries businesses in the region, supported by transport, power, communications and municipal infrastructure. These businesses will be aided in the achievement of environmental and economic sustainability through the securitisation of environmental rights and natural resource values attributable to the land.

The Grande Mayumba Businesses

African Equatorial Hardwoods Grande Mayumba Agribusiness Company Grande Mayumba Infrastructure Company

In partnership with Corawood Gabon we have formed African Equatorial Hardwoods, which holds forestry assets and wood processing operations in Grande Mayumba, Guietso and Port Gentil. Our forestry operations at Grande Mayumba and Guietso entail harvesting both commercial and lesser known wood species on a balanced, low impact and ecologically sustainable basis at sufficient scale to be viable (currently 25,000 m3 p.a.).

Currently higher value logs and peeler quality wood is sent to the Port Gentil processing facility to produce veneers, plywood and kiln-dried sawn timber. By 2025, we will have expanded our forestry operations and wood processing capacity at Grande Mayumba, investing in skills training and community support, infrastructure and logistics capacity, R&D and market development. A new processing mill will be built at Mangali, adjacent to the Mayumba port, which is anticipated to process around 100,000 m3 of wood p.a. The processing of natural hardwoods at Mangali will ultimately be complemented by timber from plantation forests within Grande Mayumba for the regional construction industry.

2. Grande Mayumba Agribusiness Company

Sugar cane will be the anchor crop for the project area with 23,000 hectares zoned for its cultivation. The accompanying development of regional infrastructure, such as roads, modular mills, a bagasse plant, lime quarry and port, planned by 2025, will support the development of additional crops such as rice, maize, soy beans, avocados and citrus.

These products will help meet the growing demand for locally produced agricultural products as production is currently significantly below the level of domestic consumption. Sugar cane production will supply a growing regional market for processed sugar and bioethanol will be produced as a by-product for domestic consumption, helping Gabon to reduce imports of refined fuels. The other major focus will be the progressive development of an existing cattle ranching business with 6,500 head of cattle to meet the need for locally produced protein and reduce the consumption of bushmeat.

3. Grande Mayumba Infrastructure Company

Logistics, shipping and loading facilities will be built at a new port location in Mangali to support the Grande Mayumba businesses and the emerging regional economy. To cater for the significant anticipated population growth as a result of the Grande Mayumba project, and to ensure this does not result in environmental degradation, we have developed a detailed municipal infrastructure plan. The plan details the creation of new housing to accommodate staff, as well as provision of water, sanitation, electricity, roads, stormwater drains and solid waste management in the Mayumba area.

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 2019

Commencement of five year investment and development plan

June 2019

Grande Mayumba and Corà Wood Gabon announce formation of joint venture

June 2019

Commencement of forestry and timber processing operations

Mar 2020

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