Gabon new program: Optimizing land-use planning & monitoring

Posted on July 26, 2018 8:32:00 AM

CAFI-funded program starts to better plan and monitor land use, reduce GhG emissions from the sector.

At a glance

Programme Title

National Land Use Planning and Monitoring to Promote Sustainable Development Strategies for Gabon
Objective To develop, adopt and implement a National Land Use Plan (PNAT) and a National Observation System for Natural Resources and Forests (SNORF) that will contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions from LULUCF in Gabon  
Implementation Activities are implemented by the National Climate Council, the Authority for Sustainable Development , the Gabonese Agency for Studies and Spatial Observation (AGEOS) and the National Agency for National Parks (ANPN).  

US $ 18.4 million from the CAFI Fund

The French Development Agency (AFD) is the implementing partner  

Duration Five years (2018-2022)  

The strategic value of Gabonese forests

A forest cover estimated at 23.6 million hectares, or 88% of the national territory.

A sector of land use, land-use change and forest (LULUCF) that represents both a carbon sink (an average sequestration of 81.1 MtCO2 / year between 1990-2015) but also the first source of greenhouse gas emissions (47.3 MtCO2e / year over the same period).

Net sector emissions that were reduced by around 22% between 2010 and 2015.

A commitment by the country to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2025 compared to 2005.

In Gabon, where the LULUCF represents more than 90% of the country's emissions, initiatives to reduce deforestation and forest degradation are highly strategic. Especially given that Gabon intends to rely on sustainable forest management and the development of the agricultural sector to diversify its economy and continue its national development.

The Gabon National Investment Framework (NIF) indicated the relevance of developing a National Land Use Plan (French acronym : PNAT) and a National Natural Resources and Forest Observation System (French acronym : SNORF)  to reduce forest loss. On 27 June 2017, the Government of Gabon and CAFI signed a Letter of Intent that establishes a partnership for implementing the NIF. It is within this framework that the Programme on National Land Use Planning and Monitoring to promote sustainable development strategies for Gabon, has been developed.

The activities of the Program will, among other things, help achieve, through political decisions, the milestones for the Letter of Intent; particularly those related to land use and forest monitoring.

The Program

The overall objective of the Program is to improve land use and LULUCF  monitoring in Gabon to reduce and minimize deforestation and forest degradation while optimizing development co-benefits, by :

Developing, adopting and implementing a PNAT 

Why? Developed through broad stakeholder and population consultations at the national, provincial and departmental level, the PNAT will make it possible to allocate the territory to different uses in an optimal way, excluding as much as possible primary forests with high carbon stocks (HSC) and high conservation value (HVC).

It will provide better guidance to the possible expansion of agricultural activities, forestry, infrastructure development and mining activities, in order to directly and indirectly mitigate the drivers of current and future deforestation.

The PNAT will, moreover, clarify land rights through the mapping of village lands, and exercise that will be conducted throughout the territory.

Elaborating and implementing a National System of Observation of Natural Resources and Forests  

What will the SNORF be used for? First of all, to follow the evolution of the national forest cover in (almost) real time and to detect deforestation events. AGEOS will thus be in a position to set up a deforestation alert system, and rapidly inform the departments in charge of forest control and forestry.

The SNORNF will also map the territorial reach of villages in Gabon using satellite imagery and drones. This will help monitor of the land use changes  related to the activities of rural populations.

On the ground, a natural resources inventory at the national level will make it possible to collect data on forest biomass and carbon as well as biodiversity. This data will help clarify national definitions and guidelines for HCV and HSC forests in Gabon.

Finally, the SNORNF will use the combination of remote sensing data and field inventory data to refine LULUCF estimates of carbon stocks and flows, therefore improving the accuracy of the data transmitted under the Climate Convention.


The PNAT and the SNORNF will strengthen ongoing national and international initiatives and programs in the fields of agriculture (GRAINE project, PRODIAG, etc.), forests (CAF project, revision of the Forest Code, VPA-FLEGT negotiations, RPP-FCPF Gabon, etc.) and conservation (ANPN projects).

A favorable context

The program operates in a favorable political, institutional and technical context. In fact:

  • AGEOS (the Gabonese Agency for Studies and Spatial Observation has been in place since 2010 and has already carried out important work in mapping LULUCF ;
  • The National Agency of National Parks (ANPN) initiated the establishment of a Natural Resources Inventory (IRN) and conducted studies and analysis related to High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stocks (HSC);
  • The National Climate Council oversaw the implementation process of the NAP V0, which revealed land-use conflicts;
  • More recently, a National Land Use Commission has been set up with the main mission of elaborating the Gabon PNAT;
  • A Sustainable Development Authority has also been created. It will ensure that the PNAT is compatible with the country commitments on sustainable development.
Learn more about CAFI's partnership with Gabon and read the Programme Document (FR).

Letter of intent content type Homepage Forestry news article National investment framework Agriculture Gabon Land use planning Governance arrangements