Preserving the community forest: a woman's struggle for life

Preserving the community forest: a woman's struggle for life

DR Congo - 12 October, 2020

For local communities, the forest is not only a source of life (reservoir of resources, climate, fresh air, livelihoods, clean water etc.) nor a simple place to live, it is life. But forests now a days are more than ever threatened. In DR Congo forests are increasingly the subject of monopolization/grabbing by “big men”, often educated and urban, to the detriment of local populations.

This video tells the story of a women, Madame Vava, who does not intend to give up to the strong power of these “big men” who plunder and exploit the forest of her community with the complicity of the local chef. She is based in a very small remote village located at 143 km far from Kisangani. She belongs to the community of Bambaka of Bapondi, whose demography is low and who lives in the Bafwasende territory. For Madame Vava, protecting her community forest is the fight of her life. She moves heaven and earth to assert the rights of her community. This fight ends up bearing fruit. After four long years of battle and administrative procedures strewn with pitfalls and humiliations, she obtains the title of ownership for the forest of her community.

This video has been produced by Tropenbos DRC with support of Tropenbos International as part of a training on story telling within the Green Livelihoods Alliance programme. The training was provided by RNTC Media Training Centre.

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