1/8

Gabon’s forests are owned by the state, which offers concessions to private organizations that work with communities to manage and harvest the forests. Our Gabon Partner Forest is a network of concessions located in the provinces of Haut-Ogooué and Ogooué-Lolo, held by Compagnie Equatoriale des Bois (CEB), a subsidiary of Precious Woods. Precious Woods’ practices exemplify sustainable forest management, which the company has led in Gabon for over a decade, influencing green-standard setting national forest laws. With vast tropical forests that form part of the Congo Basin rainforest, Gabon's green future hinges on development that keeps the forests standing.

Managing forests sustainably

Since 2007, Precious Woods has operated three concessions in Eastern Gabon — Bambidié, Lelama, and Okondja —  comprising 596 800 hectares. Together they constitute the first operation in Gabon to act according to the principles of certified and sustainable forestry. The company follows 25-year harvest cycles with working zones that rotate every five years to allow forest regrowth. This prevents the harvest of any tree below 90 cm in diameter and means that only one or two trees per hectare are harvested annually. The company harvests approximately 240,000m3 per year, which is all accounted for using sustainable practices.

​Certification affirms that concession activities are ecologically sound. Precious Woods Gabon has held FSC certification since 2008 and PEFC certification since 2017. These third-party audits of the company's annual operations ensure that all harvested trees pass a rigorous evaluation and documentation process.

Sustainable forestry and its associated activities provide many Gabonese with gainful employment, skills training, and valuable services. Precious Woods provides its 893 local employees with training, housing, employment, food, electricity, water, education, leisure activities, and healthcare.

Precious Woods CEB - Forest Management Units in Gabon

Precious Woods CEB - Forest Management Units in Gabon

This is an adapted version of the Precious Woods CEB map viewable by clicking here

Precious Woods3.jpeg

Precious Woods CEB staff organizing processed timber at the Bambidié sawmill.

About the community

Bambidié lies at the heart of Precious Woods’ operation in Gabon. This essential settlement is situated 30 km to the east of Lastoursville and is comprised of administrative offices, a planning division, a major mechanical workshop, two sawmills, a recovery workshop, dryers, a fleet of equipment, a dispensary, housing for executive and workers, a school complex that educations more than 750 students, a commissary, and a bakery. About 500 people are employed on the site, which represents a community of more than 2,500 people. The wider CEB development zone is home to roughly 22,000 people from two ethnolinguistic groups, the Mbede-teke and the Kota-kele.

​Community Conservation 


Working with communities, Precious Woods also studies the environment to better protect its natural and cultural heritage. In 2014, the company designated 19,900 hectares of its concessions for wildlife conservation. These special conservation areas follow prescribed FSC standards to preserve natural habitats for species like water buffalo, great apes, and a thriving population of the last known forest elephants on the planet. The community also defines areas, including trees, that they hold sacred. Using GPS, such areas are isolated and protected as high-value conservation zones. To protect ecological integrity, the community works with Precious Woods to patrol the forest concessions for illegal activity. More than 25,000 km are patrolled on foot, canoe, and car.

Did you know?

  • Gabon is one of the most heavily forested countries in the world! 

  • Out of this total forest cover, 65.2% ( 14,334,000 ha) is classified as primary forest consisting of the most biodiverse and carbon-dense form of forest. 

  • All of this means that Gabon’s forests contain 2,710 million metric tons of carbon in living forest biomass and makeup 18% of the Congo Basin, which is one of the most important wilderness areas left on Earth.

 ​​

  • In 2018, President Ali Bongo declared that all forestry concessions must be FSC-certified by the end of 2022.

  • Timber accounts for 15% of Gabon’s GDP.

  • The Congo Basin represents about 10 years of global emissions of CO2. 

Learn more about Gabon forestry

Precious Wood9.jpeg

Learn more about Precious Woods CEB and its operations in Gabon by reading this report here.

Screen Shot 2022-04-07 at 5.40.31 PM.png

Learn more about Gabon's timber and forestry by watching this video here.

gabon.jpeg

Uncover how Gabon concession holders are protecting the last know habitats of forest elephants by reading this Mongabay article and this FSC story

Screen Shot 2022-04-05 at 4.53.43 PM.png

Learn how Gabon is using its own wood to build important infrastructure in Libreville by reading our blog here.

Screen Shot 2022-04-19 at 3.32.58 PM.png

Find out more about how Gabon is fighting against illegal logging while preserving sacred sites by reading this Mongabay article here.