Community Forestry in the Democratic Republic of Congo

March 2009 - June 2010

This project involved the development of policy and legislation in the DRC that recognises the rights of forest communities to manage their own forests and the benefits from them.

The DRC, home to the second biggest continuous area of rainforest in the world after the Amazon, is recovering slowly from many years of devastating civil war. Part of that recovery involves taking a fresh look at how its forests, on which some 40 million Congolese people depend, are managed.

The forests of the Congo Basin are among the last large areas of relatively intact tropical forest and it is thanks in large measure to the people of the DRC that this is the case. Thus, as the DRC government is thinking about how to manage its forests in the future, it is giving serious consideration to the role that forest communities will continue to play in managing and sustaining the forest.

IIED provided input and support to a project coordinated by the UK NGO Forests Monitor to help the DRC to develop policy and legislation that recognises and consolidates the management of forests by forest communities themselves.

The overall aim was to find and develop sustainable solutions to poverty alleviation with rural and forest-based communities in the DRC.

What did IIED do?

IIED conducted research into experiences in other parts of the world with community forestry, in particular, the legal and institutional frameworks that have been established, and helped to catalyse a national dialogue on forest governance relating to community forestry.

The institute also supported partner organisations in DRC to undertake a range of consultations with communities to investigate their current use and marketing of forest resources, development aspirations and the potential of community forestry.

The research was designed to support the development of a policy and legislative framework in DRC that promotes the rights and secures the livelihoods of forest dependent people, along with a long term plan of action that the Congolese government, communities and non state actors can use to develop the institutions, skills and experience needed to ensure that community forestry in the DRC genuinely benefits forest communities.


Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office


Forests Monitor

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