Responsive Forest Governance Initiative explores impacts of conservation projects on local people

The Responsive Forest Governance Initiative has just released 10 working papers on REDD+, natural resource governance, and the impacts of conservation projects on local communities, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa, including Cameroon and the DRC.


Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI)


The Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI) is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. It is a $3 million, 4-year research and conservation application program focused on enabling and strengthening representation of forest-based people within local-government environmental decisions in Africa.


(Scroll down to see a list of recent RFGI publications)


Nations worldwide have introduced various reforms aspiring to bring decisions over natural resources closer to the people who use, manage and administer them, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution. When the authority to make or influence these decisions is passed to government jurisdictions closer to the resources, this is called decentralization. It is intended to make local government responsive and accountable to local people’s needs and aspirations so as to improve natural resource management. But how well is it working, and what can be done to improve these systems?
RFGI is exploring ways to best work with local governments to make decentralization more effective for the communities and for the forests on which they depend. 
Natural resources, especially forests, play an important role since they provide people with needed revenue, wealth, and subsistence. Responsive local governments can provide forest-dependent people with the flexibility they need to manage, adapt to and remain resilient in their changing environment. This type of responsive and accountable local governance can reduce vulnerability, enhance local wellbeing, and improve forest management. 
The goal of RFGI research and related outputs is to help conservation agents, researchers, local people, and local governments to find ways to strengthen local governance to help reach these goals. 
The RFGI is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency and executed by the Council for the Development of Social Sciences Research in Africa, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the University of Illinois. The research team includes postdoctoral fellows and more than 30 researchers working in 13 countries. These countries are: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. 


RFGI Resources and Publications


Learning from projects to improve conservation interventions

Despite good intentions, conservation interventions sometimes have negative outcomes for the environment and local residents. The following research from the Responsive Forest Governance Initiative identifies some of the questions raised by unintended consequences of well-meaning decisions within the context of forest conservation, and it offers guidance on how to improve outcomes from future interventions.


To obtain the Full Text, please consult the following link: 

RFGI Resources and Publications

Learning from projects to improve conservation interventions


Image credit: IUCN

Go back


Countries gather for landmark GEF Council meeting

New impact programs at heart of largest-ever proposed work program. Delegates are arriving in Washington DC for one of the most important Council meetings in the history of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It is expected to mark a pioneering shift of emphasis for the organization that was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems.

Read more …

Unenvironment-Sweeping the Bush, protecting the land - The women quashing poaching

The black mamba is the most venomous snake in sub-Saharan Africa. One bite can kill a person in just a few hours. It is also the namesake of the all-female anti-poaching unit that operates in the 56,000-acre private Balule Nature Reserve at Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Read more …

COMIFAC National Coordination Units hold consultations in Brazzaville

Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, 04-06 June 2019. The 9th consultation workshop of the COMIFAC National Coordination Units took place at the Mikhael’s Hotel.The meeting’s overall objective was to strengthen the capacities and performance of the COMIFAC National Coordination Units in the discharge of their mission in line with national, regional and international agendas in the forestry and environmental sectors.

Read more …

Gabon: Lee White, the new Minister of Forests, the Sea and the Environment, in charge of the Climate Plan

Libreville, Gabon 13 June 2019_ the Environment enthusiast Lee White, a British-born Gabonese national, told the media at the close of the first Ministers’ Council that his appointment was a call for better governance and sustainable management of Gabon’s forests which are under threat.

Read more …

Traffic-Our CITES CoP18 recommendations now out

This document outlines TRAFFIC’s views and advice on some priority issues and proposals on the agenda for CITES CoP18. TRAFFIC believes that policy decisions and recommendation should be informed and guided by credible evidence and impartial analysis and, for many of the issues addressed in this document, we have highlighted recent TRAFFIC reports and other research that could assist Parties in their deliberations.


Read more …

Globallandscapesforum-U.N. declares 2021 to 2030 ‘Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’

Submit your Expression of Interest to attend the Global Landscapes Forum NYC 2019 on 28 September in New York City. The United Nations has issued a massive global ‘call to action’ to mobilize the political and financial support necessary to restore the world’s deforested and degraded ecosystems over the coming decade to support the wellbeing of 3.2 billion people around the globe. More than 2 billion hectares – an area larger than the South American continent – stand to be restored.

Read more …

CABAG-USFWS: CBFP Capacity Building Working Group concerning Wildlife Conservation Launch

On Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 22 participants from 15 institutions attending the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) Council Meeting and the High Level Dialogue in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, met to discuss a range of issues concerning Wildlife Conservation Capacity Development in Central Africa.  This side event was a follow-on to the November 2019 CBFP Capacity Development Roundtable Discussions in Brussels, Belgium. Participants included Central African and international government agencies, NGOs, private sector and donors. Please download the Document...

Read more …

EAST AFRICA Singing from the same spreadsheet

Despite growing fears about rising debt levels, the region’s finance ministers have unveiled a series of expansionary budgets. The four major players in the East African Community completed the annual ritual of   unveiling their national spending plans on 13 june. ‘Transforming lives  through industrialization and job creation for shared prosperity’ was the theme for the budgets of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Read more …

CBFP News Archive


GEF Newsletter | June 2019
The Cafi Dialogues
Forest Watch April 2019
Forest Watch March 2019