CoNGOs: NGOs collaborating for equitable and sustainable community livelihoods in Congo Basin forests

Project
Active
April 2016 to March 2019

CoNGOs is an IIED-led UK consortium that aims to achieve improved governance and practice in equitable and sustainable community forestry livelihoods in the Congo Basin.

A woman carries firewood in the Congo Basin rainforest (Photo: Ollivier Girard/CIFOR, Creative Commons via Flickr)

Countries in the Congo Basin are at a crossroads in managing their lands and forests. Governments in the region have the ambition to transform their countries to 'emerging economy' status within the next two decades, and national strategies aiming for economic growth focus on the exploitation of natural resources including forests, and the rapid development of agribusiness and energy infrastructures, often at large scale.

But the huge number of small scale producers, working on farms and in the forest, whose economic aspirations might unleash much more equitable and sustainable growth, are not adequately supported.

Community forestry has been one avenue through which stakeholders in the Congo Basin have sought to support participatory sustainable resource management and development. However, "community forestry" is also a contested idea.

There is an urgent need, not only to clarify, recognise and secure customary rights of forest-dependent communities, but to ensure that policies and laws as well as services aiming at supporting implementation offer real opportunity for those communities to participate in, and contribute to, sustainable economic progress in line with their own development visions.

What is IIED doing?

This project will work directly with a range of key stakeholders in forest dependent communities, such as forest and farm producers, indigenous peoples, and women's groups, to help build the foundations for a more inclusive and equal forest and land use sector in the Congo Basin.

The project is designed to contribute to achieving the anticipated impact of the Department for International Development's (DFID) Improving Livelihoods and Land Use in the Congo Basin Forests (ILLUCBF) programme to support the development of sustainable and secure community livelihoods in the Congo Basin.

Over a period of three years this initiative will pursue country specific actions and regional learning exchanges to achieve the following outputs:

  1. Improved evidence on viable options for community forestry, including strengthening of rights, generated and verified by relevant stakeholders in the Congo Basin countries
  2. Stronger capacity of community organisations to pursue resource rights security and commercial forest and farm production options, and articulate policy changes in national forest governance and land use planning processes, and
  3. More effective policy engagement and implementation in support of sustainable and profitable community forestry through the collaboration of rights-holders, civil society organisations and national institutions in subnational, national, regional and international policy processes.

Learning exchange

In July 2017, a learning exchange on 'Opportunities and approaches to supporting community forest enterprises' took place in Kribi, Cameroon. The event was covered by local news channel Canal 2, and its report can be watched on IIED's YouTube channel or below.

Publications

Communities at the heart of forest management: How can the law make a difference?, Client Earth (2018), Project report | en français

Analyse et Développement de Marché Phase 4, Jacques Lecup (2019), Event report en français

Quels Droits Fonciers pour les Populations des Zones Forestieres en Republique Centrafricaine, Pierre Etienne Kenfack, Rainforest Foundation UK (2018), Project report en français

VPAs and NDCs Sharing the Toolbox: How lessons learned from EU FLEGT can be put to work for the Paris Agreement, Téodyl Nkuintchua Tchoudjen (2018), Project Report | en français

Processus de révision d’un Plan Simple de Gestion, Centre pour l’Environnement et le Développement, Fern (2018), Project report en français

Mise en œuvre de la foresterie communautaire en République du Congo (implementation of community forestry in the Republic of Congo) (2018), Briefing Paper en français

Analyse du cadre juridique relatif aux forêts communautaires au Gabon (analysis of the legal framework relating to community forests in Gabon) (2018), Project Report en français

Recommandations sur la réglementation des forêts communautaires au Gabon (recommendations on the regulation of community forests in Gabon) (2018), Project Material en français

Le Nouvel Élan de la Foresterie Communautaire en Republique Centrafricaine, Rainforest Foundation UK (2017), Project report en français

Community-based forest management: legal frameworks in five Congo Basin countries (2017), Project Report | en français

Analyse et Développement de Marché Phase 3 – rapport de formation, Jacques Lecup (2017), Event report en français

Analyse et Développement de Marché Phases 1 et 2 – rapport de formation, Jacques Lecup (2017), Event report en français

Community forestry in Cameroon: a diagnostic analysis of laws, institutions, actors and opportunities (2017), IIED Project report | en français

Opportunities and approaches to supporting: community forest enterprises – proceedings of the first CoNGOs learning event, Kribi, Cameroon (18-20 July 2017), Duncan Macqueen, Elaine Harty, Anna Bolin (2017), Event report

Étude diagnostique sur la foresterie communautaire en République du Congo (diagnostic study on community forestry in the Republic of Congo) (2017), Project Report en français

Analyse du cadre juridique relatif à la gestion communautaire des forêts en République du Congo (analysis of the legal framework for community forest management in the Republic of Congo) (2017), Project Report en français

CoNGOs: NGOs collaborating for equitable and sustainable community livelihoods in Congo Basin forests (2016), IIED Project flyer | en français

Donors

Department for International Development (DFID), UK

Partners

UK consortium partners:

Client Earth
Fern
Forest Peoples Programme (FPP)
Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK)
Well Grounded

Cameroon:

Association OKANI
Centre for Environment and Development (CED) (French language site)
INADES-Formation

Central African Republic:

Réseau des Populations Autochtones et Locales pour la gestion durable des écosystèmes forestiers de Centrafrique (REPALCA) 
Centre pour l'Information Environnementale et le Développement Durable (CIEDD)

Democratic Republic of the Congo:

Tropenbos International

Republic of Congo:

Organisation pour le Développement et les Droits Humains au Congo (ODDHC)
Forum pour la Gouvernance et les Droits de l'Homme (FGDH) (French language site)
Comptoir Juridique Junior (CJJ)

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