Read again: FAO: Participatory land-use planning for priority landscapes of the Congo Basin

 

Central Africa’s conservation approach is based on land-use planning in 12 priority landscapes, involving establishment of core protected areas surrounded by multiple-use zones...  The large landscape conservation approach adopted in the Congo Basin is aimed at effective management of a network of protected areas along with promotion of sustainable use of natural resources in surrounding forests for economic development, livelihood support and the well-being of surrounding local communities...

 

For more Information, please consult the Document under the following link: FAO ... Participatory land-use planning for priority landscapes of the Congo Basin

 

Autors: L. Usongo and J. Nagahuedi

 

CONCLUDING REMARKS AND LESSONS LEARNED

Isolated pockets of protected areas and forest patches alone do not allow for effective conservation of biodiversity, given increased pressures due to unsustainable exploitation practices in the multiple-use zones that surround them. Large blocks of natural habitat, on the order of millions of hectares are needed to maintain viable species populations for resilience to large-scale disturbances such as climate change. The large landscape conservation approach adopted in the Congo Basin is aimed at effective management of a network of protected areas along with promotion of sustainable use of natural resources in surrounding forests for economic development, livelihood support and the well-being of surrounding local communities.

Success in managing large-scale and complex initiatives that cut across international boundaries and national priorities depends on an enabling institutional environment, which must address national sensitivities and the geopolitical context in the subregion. The COMIFAC treaty signed by Central African leaders addresses some of the geopolitical and strategic issues, forging cooperation and the commitment of member countries to work together. COMIFAC is now a legal entity empowered by the governments to take decisions and formulate regional policies to promote sustainable management of natural resources in the Congo Basin. The treaty is also an important benchmark towards harmonization of regional forestry laws, policies and governance systems.

The Yaoundé process has been a catalyst for regional cooperation and more efficient management of natural resources in the Congo Basin. Both the commitment of Central African leaders and support from the international conservation community have been critical in its success. The existence of a Congo Basin treaty has stimulated bilateral and multilateral funding agencies to commit funding for the Congo Basin basket fund.

One of the unique characteristics of the Yaoundé process and Congo Basin conservation initiative is the participatory nature in which the programme has been developed and is being implemented. It institutionalizes dialogue, participation and empowerment of stakeholders including local communities in land-use planning processes at grassroots levels, and as shown by the example of the Sangha Tri-national landscape described above, communities are benefiting.

The process has also demonstrated the value of rigorous scientific analysis in the development of large-scale conservation programmes. In the Congo Basin, priority landscapes and actions were determined following methodical assessment of the socio-economic and biological value of key sites.

Experiences and lessons learned from the Congo Basin would be useful for other regions confronted with similar problems, for example Latin America which also still has large areas of natural forest.

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