Combining securisation of forest peoples’ rights with the preservation of forests

August 3, 2017

Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Placeholder
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the

Combining securisation of forest peoples' rights with the preservation of forests

About the Implementing organization

Name: Réseau pour la Conservation et la Réhabilitation des Ecosystèmes Forestiers (Réseau CREF)

Country: Congo, The Democratic Republic of the

Year of establishment: 2003

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization, Legally recognized non-profit status, Indigenous group or organization

Description

The community forest concession approach as applied by Réseau CREF manages to combine the empowerment and securisation of forest peoples’ rights with the sustainable management of their forest resources. Through participatory mapping, the communities define land and usage rights within their territory and the natural resources available to them. Through technical assistance provided by Réseau CREF, local communities develop management plans that emphasise the rational use of their forest resources, including the harvest of natural forest products and the introduction of new agriculture techniques, contributing to local development and food security while protecting the forest.

Nature Element

Forests / Wildlife

Type of Action

Protection / Sustainable use / Access and benefit sharing / Awareness and education / Advocacy for land & water rights

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Renewable energy / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)

      

Environmental Impacts

Although still in its early stages, experiences so far indicate that the introduction of governance structures and management plans have had a positive impact on wildlife in participating communities, with some species returning to previously abandoned areas due to the more rigidly regulated hunting practices. Efforts are ongoing to ensure that illegal artisanal logging currently taking place within the borders of community forest concessions is stopped.

Sustainable Development Impacts

Pilot projects for the environmental friendly, sustainable use of forest resources have been initiated during the last couple of years, though it is too early to conclude what their impact has been.

Scalability

The community forest concession model is established by national Congolese legislation, though so far it lacks proper implementation. For years, Réseau CREF has combined advocacy efforts to influence the legal design of the model with efforts to develop models on the ground in communities in North Kivu. Their objective is to influence how the model is perceived, defined and implemented throughout the DRC, with an emphasis on participation and ownership by local communities.

Replicability

The community forest concession model is established by national Congolese legislation, though so far it lacks proper implementation. For years, Réseau CREF has combined advocacy efforts to influence the legal design of the model with efforts to develop models on the ground in communities in North Kivu. Their objective is to influence how the model is perceived, defined and implemented throughout the DRC, with an emphasis on participation and ownership by local communities.

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