20061231

 

III. LAWS OF THE JUNGLE: DYNAMICS OF FORESTRY SECTOR REFORM IN THE CONGO BASIN

Excerpt from Forest Peoples Programme documment archives: "...The 2nd Heads of State Summit for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Central African Forest Ecosystems, was hosted in Brazzaville by the Republic of Congo in February. This meeting was a follow up to the 1999 Yaoune Declaration which enabled the Conference of Ministers in Charge of Central African Forests (COMIFAC) to establish a regional framework for the management of the biodiversity of the Congo Basin, now known as the COMIFAC Convergence Plan. This plan covers a diversity of region-wide initiatives to support better forest management and conservation, including the establishment of two transboundary protected areas between Central African Republic, Cameroon, Gabon and the Republic of Congo. Under the facilitation of the US for the past several years a regional conservation initiative known as the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) has been enabled through the COMIFAC framework. Funding for this has come mostly from the US and Europe, with Europes proportion expected to rise now that the French government has taken over the facilitation role within the CBFP...The CBFP facilitating the provision of financial support to extend the total area destined for protection in Central Africa through the establishment of 11 so-called landscapes or eco-regions covering up to 20% of the Congo Basin. The theory is that these landscapes will be zoned to accommodate a mixture of exploitation and conservation, with the involvement of local communities where appropriate. Experience elsewhere in the Congo Basin suggests, however, that the extension of conservation and logging will lead to increased restrictions against local communities, especially indigenous communities relying on hunting and gathering to secure their subsistence needs. This threatens to exacerbate the negative social and economic impacts on indigenous communities from conservation and logging...In most forest planning, local and indigenous communities have so far been unable to secure representation in discussions on new plans for forests, in spite of clear donor guidelines requiring this..."





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