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Vicwood Group Sustainability Practices

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Part I: Forestry Zoning

All our timber in Central Africa originates from well managed forests. An independent third party (Société Générale de Surveillance) certifies that the logs are properly and legally logged. Our African division has a team working specifically on forestry management and we also work together with local authorities to improve the forests so as to increase growth and maintain sustainability.

Below are some maps to locate and show the concessions we currently harvest in Cameroon, Central African Republic and Congo.

Vicwood Forestry Concessions

Vicwood Forestry Concessions

Vicwood Forestry Concessions

General Maps of Vicwood Thanry Group Concessions and Harvesting Permits.
Next are examples of the sustainability and development plans of one of our more recently acquired forestry concessions in Congo - Ipendja Forestry Management Unit (UFA). We hope it provides you with some idea of the care and time that Vicwood Group in Africa puts into to its forestry management practices.

The goal of the Ipendja UFA Forestry Management Plan is to provide an idea of the resources available as well as the socio-environmental context so as to enable us to project for a reasonable harvesting of timber.

Ipendja 1
Map 1: Forestry stratification to show plant growth within Ipendja UFA (= Forestry management unit).

 Ipendja 2
Map 2: Ipendja UFA inventory survey plan.

In order to carry out this forestry management plan, we must undertake preliminary studies, including stratification, inventories (of wood, fauna, non-woody forest products and regeneration) as well as socio-economic, ecological and project specification studies.

Ipendja 3
Map 3: Per hectare density of Ayous trees greater than 70cm diametre - an example of tree counting during the inventory survey.

 Ipendja 4
Map 4: Density of elephants in the UFA as noted by their droppings.

An analysis of these data allows us to divide the area into a series of zones (production, conservation, human development), so as to establish the minimum cutting diametres and eventually to carry out a harvesting plan that will rationalize production with respect to indigenous populations and the environment on the basis of one rotation.

Ipendja 5
Map 5: Example of a socio-economic study: Village hunting areas.

 Ipendja 6
Map 6: Division into development zones.

Part II: Exploitation and Traceability

Once the forest is zoned, a Forestry Exploitation Plan is established. Its development and follow-up are essential to provide for the best value of the resource, to respect the indigenous populations and to minimize the impact on the environment.

Ipendja 7
Map 7: Overview of the Ipendja UFA exploitation.

 Ipendja 8
Map 8: Divisions and boundaries of the 2011 annual harvesting plan. Detail taken from the circled area in Map 7 above.

The exploitation inventories are the basis upon which the harvesting plan is developed. The area chosen to be harvested for a specific year is divided into sections in order that a systematic survey of the trees to be harvested may be carried out.

Ipendja 9
Figure I: GIS inventory data capture for integration into the traceability software. Detail taken from the green squared area in Map 8 above.

 Ipendja 10
Map 9: Results of the 2011 annual harvesting plan inventories.

During the inventory surveys, information about the land in general is collected, such as tree species and sizes, the hydrographical network, its topographical elements and soil, traces of fauna, etc. The data are integrally captured into the GIS of the STC and are then verified and analyzed so that development of the land may be carried out (i.e. for roads, parks, skidding areas, etc.).

Ipendja 11
Map 10: Inventory data analysis and road planning.

 Ipendja 12
Map 11: Example of a daily harvesting follow-up map.

The data is integrated into the Traceability software so that the exploitation can be followed up on a daily basis (e.g. felling, skidding, preparation), to provide for a perfect control of the harvesting and to contribute to responsible management.

The above information was compiled by our Vicwood Africa Land Development & Certification Department and was presented at the Forest Industries Association (IFIA)'s 4th RACEWOOD Edition at Pointe Noire in the Republic of Congo in September 2011.
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