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


Resources and follow-up from the virtual FAO-EcoAgriculture Partners Roundtable

Last April 30th FAO and EcoAgriculture Partners organized a virtual Roundtable on Territorial Perspectives for Development, in which over 170 people participated.

Read more …

ATIBT -CBFP: Private Sector mobilized around the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany

ATIBT co-facilitated the mobilization of the private sector of the timber sector to participate in the first meeting of the private sector college of Congo Basin Forest Partnership with the new facilitator Dr Christian Ruck and his team German Facilitation.

Read more …

Development and institutionalization of a PAFC certification system for the Congo basin: opening of the second public consultation on Sustainable Forest Management Certification Standard, 23 May 2020 - 22 June 2020

This second public consultation will be open for a period of 30 days from tomorrow Saturday the 23rd of May 2020 and will be closed on Monday the 22nd of June 2020. The public consultation is open to all stakeholders of forest management in the Congo Basin interested in participating to the PAFC Congo Basin certification standards development process.

Read more …

Forest defenders on the COVID-19 frontline stand ready to assist the global EU response – Fern

These efforts go hand in hand with ensuring continued responsible management of natural resources and preventing unsustainably and illegally sourced forest commodities. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, forest-monitoring organisations Observatoire de la Gouvernance Forestière (OGF) and Réseau des observateurs indépendants des ressources naturelles (RENOI) are set to carry out COVID awareness-raising in at-risk forest areas, and will also assess COVID’s impact on forest management and governance commitments under the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI). Across the Congo Basin, fears that a proper lack of oversight may put forests and forest peoples in danger are looming despite emerging initiatives.

Read more …

22 May 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity

The theme of the 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity is “Our Solutions are in Nature”. It shows that "Biodiversity remains the answer to a number of sustainable development challenges that we all face. From nature-based solutions to climate, to food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity remains the basis for a sustainable future."

Read more …

Watch our new video – UICN

On the occasion of the World Biodiversity Day, this new PPI video proposes to illustrate this question of biodiversity conservation and the links with local economic development. It shows two testimonies, one of Alexis Kaboré (NATUDEV) who develops sustainable value chain of honey and shea butter in the PONASI complex in Burkina Faso and one of Caleb Ofori (Herp Ghana) who implements a national ecotourism project in the mountains of eastern Ghana.

Read more …

COVID-19 and smallholder producers’ access to markets - FAO

In a pandemic such as COVID-19, measures to limit the spread of the virus require physical isolation and various levels of restrictions on people’s movement, and in some cases complete lockdowns. Inevitably, these measures cause transportation delays and bottlenecks in the flow of goods and services, including in the agricultural sector.

Read more …

CBFP News Archive