Five priorities for community forestry laws in the Republic of Congo

 

 

Please download the following PDF Documents:

2019-08-01-republic-of-congo-five-priorities-for-developing-community-forestry-laws-coll-en.pdf

 

 

Community forestry can help secure environmental, social and economic benefits by improving forest management and community livelihoods. Our lawyer, Tanja Venisnik, says clear and coherent laws are key to successful community forestry.

 

 

She recently launched a policy briefing following the conclusion of a project involving NGOs collaborating for equitable and sustainable community livelihoods in Congo Basin forests (CoNGOs).

 

 

The briefing points at five priorities that decision-makers in the Republic of Congo (RoC) should be addressing while developing the country’s first legal framework on community forestry:

  • Recognising land and forest tenure rights;
    • Ensuring accessible forest-allocation processes;
    • Laying down principles for community governance;
    • Providing community forest-management rules; and
    • Guaranteeing mechanisms to ensure benefits are shared fairly.

 

 

Tanja said: “Decision-makers in the RoC have a unique opportunity to design laws providing people simple and effective access to community forests – with clear and coherent rules on how to create and manage forests, share benefits and resolve disputes.”

 

 

“Good laws are born out of good process. A broad range of stakeholders, including local and indigenous communities, should take part in designing the community forestry framework.

 

 

The Forest Code is currently under discussion in the Congolese Parliament. Once it is adopted, RoC’s forest reform will only be half way. A range of operational texts will still need to be adopted in order to ensure that community forestry works in practice.

 

 

Tanja added: “The current legal reform in RoC will allow communities to play a greater role in managing and protecting their forests. This could help safeguard precious Congolese forests, part of the second-largest tropical forest mass in the world (after the rapidly disappearing Amazon), and the carbon they store. It could also help secure the rights and livelihood of forest-dependent communities and boost local development and employment. But for community forestry to live up to its potential, it is critical that the law truly empowers communities.”

 

 

The recent IPCC report on land adds to growing evidence showing that communities have a key role to play in the fight against climate change given that they informally manage about 20 per cent of the carbon stored in rainforests. It also constitutes a powerful argument for stronger forest-dependent communities’ rights over lands and forests.

 

 

International development partners and donors also have a role to play to ensure the success of community forestry in the RoC that is so essential to preserve forests. They should provide further technical and financial support for designing but also implementing community-driven forestry. Funding should also support strategies and projects that fully respect the rights of local and indigenous communities and their members.

 

 

ClientEarth recommendations, Republic of Congo: five priorities for developing community forestry laws, result from legal analyses and consultations carried out throughout the DFID-funded CoNGOs project.

 

 

Please download the following PDF Documents:

 

2019-08-01-republic-of-congo-five-priorities-for-developing-community-forestry-laws-coll-en.pdf

Go back

CBFP News

Ecozona-The Screaming Forest: An Ecocritical Assessment of Le Cri de la forêt

From a postcolonial ecocritical standpoint, this essay analyzes the play Le Cri de la forêt (2015) co-authored by Henri Djombo, a cabinet minister from Congo-Brazzaville, and Osée Colin Koagne, a stage director and environmental activist from Francophone Cameroon. Mindful of the rich biodiversity of the Congo Basin where the playwrights originate, the essay interrogates why the forest in the play is screaming and moves on to engage with related ecological questions such as the scapegoating of witchcraft and doubtful traditional beliefs amidst climate change.

Read more …

FERN: Five EU forest trends to watch out for in 2020 & Save the Date - February 2020 (Brussels)

In 2019, forests and forest peoples’ rights rose up the global political – and spiritual - agenda, and the EU made high profile commitments to protect forests abroad and at home as part of their European Green Deal.  But will 2020 see such commitments turned into action? Here are five questions we hope to give positive answers to at the end of the year...

Read more …

Overview and analyses of key national policies, strategies and action plans relevant to deforestation, child and forced labour, and smallholder inclusion in Cameroon

The overarching objective of this study is to identify laws and policies on deforestation, child labour, force labour and smallholder inclusion in Cameroon, and analyze how these policies support the private sector to align with the sustainable production of timber, palm oil, cocoa and rubber. This review clearly demonstrates that both government and private sector can achieve targets of curbing deforestation and ensuring effective respect of human rights along the supply chains of the selected commodities.

Read more …

Statement on the situation of wildlife in the Congo Basin (and in Cameroon in particular) - Resolving Conservation Conflicts in West/Central African Protected Areas

The statement is the outcome of a meeting of various CBFP partners at the Congo Basin Institute in Yaounde:  ...We are a group of scientists, including faculty members from respected universities in Cameroon and abroad, representatives of protected areas management units, law enforcement organisations (LAGA), rangers, and international organisations (TRAFFIC, WWF). In October 2019, we met in Yaoundé to assess the current status of conservation in the country and discuss ways forward to solve what we consider to be a conservation crisis...

Read more …

Final Communiqué of the Experts’ Meeting to Follow up on the N’Djamena Conference on The Sahel-Congo Basin Roadmap on the Operational Implementation of the N'Djamena Declaration Synthesis

The Kingdom of Belgium Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), in close collaboration with the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) and the Government of the Republic of Cameroon, hosted from 16 to 17 December 2019 in Douala, Cameroon, the Experts’ Meeting for the follow up of the International conference on Security, Poaching, Transhumance Management and the Movements of Armed Groups between the Sahel and Equatorial Africa.

Read more …

CAFI and EU join forces for the future of Central African Forests

Brussels, 4 November:  As part of growing commitments from donors to Central African forests and people, matching growing concern about accelerating forest loss of Earth’s 2nd lung, the  European Commission signed a15 million euros (16 million dollars) funding agreement to the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) Trust Fund.

Read more …

CAFI-Central African Forests : 5 Key Takeaways from the UN Secretary General Climate Action Summit

Central African forests' role in the fight against climate change and poverty was made clearer than ever. Their protection is vital to the 60 million people who depend on it, and to the planet’s future.

Read more …

CAFI-Highlights of the 14th Executive Board meeting

CAFI’s latest meeting in Geneva marked by enhanced South-South learning. In a new and much appreciated effort to foster South South exchanges and learning, the 14th CAFI Executive Board meeting was the first time that country-dedicated sessions were open to other countries. The Governments of Gabon, Republic of Congo, DRC, Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea joined in.

Read more …

CBFP News Archive