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DR Congo - 23 April, 2018
A roundtable to evaluate and stimulate a constructive public debate among all stakeholders on the lifting of the moratorium on forest concessions and the revision of the Forest Code in order to reinforce the vision on a new forest policy kicked-off today, 23 April 2018 in Kinshasa, DR Congo.
Early March 2018, Tropenbos International, and its Green livelihoods Alliance partners IUCN-NL and Friends of the Earth Netherlands, signed an appeal to the international bi- and multi-lateral partners to DRC of the forest and climate initiatives to suspend all funding for forestry and forest conservation. The over 50 environmental, conservation and human rights organisations told key donor governments and agencies such as Norway, UK, France, the US, Germany and the World Bank that their respective programmes aimed at protecting DRC’s forests would be threatened by the lifting of the moratorium, which “will have catastrophic environmental, social and climatic impacts” and will likely promote corruption and conflict.
It is with great alarm that we alert you to plans to imminently lift the moratorium on new logging concessions in the DRC. These plans have become clear over the last few days and have been confirmed by the Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, Amy Ambatobe. Simultaneously, a revision of the country’s Forest Code, understood to now be at an advanced stage, has been secretly underway without the involvement of key stakeholders, including NGOs, and is likely to see a weakening of the controls over future logging activities.We believe that these plans, which appear to be linked to political maneuvering amidst the worsening turmoil of the country, will have catastrophic environmental, social and climatic impacts, particularly in a context where forest governance remains chronically weak or non-existent.
As a follow-up on this situation Tropenbos DRC decided to assess with other DRC Civil Society organizations the possibility of organizing a multi-stakeholder dialogue on DRC’s forest policy looking beyond the moratorium. In a few weeks’ time a consortium was formed to jointly organize a Round Table on Forest Policy, Forestry Code and Moratorium. The consortium is made up of: Tropenbos RDC, Observatoire de la Gouvernance Forestière (OGF), Forest and People Programme (FPP), CODELT, CFLEDD et CALF, UNESCO-ERAIFT, FAO EU-FLEGT.
The overall objective is to evaluate and stimulate a constructive public debate among all stakeholders on the lifting of the moratorium on forest concessions and the revision of the Forest Code in order to reinforce the vision on a new forest policy. This within the context of the Letter of Intent the DRC Government signed with Central Africa Forest Initiative - CAFI , which formulated clear milestones for the forest sector with regards to these same issues.
The intention was for the Round Table to be organized with support of the Ministère de l’Environnement et Développement Durable, who declined its support1.
The Round Table kicked-off today 23rd April 2018 with a large participation of Civil Society, FONAREDD and a diversity of government ministries and international partners such is FAO, European Union, Netherlands and Belgium diplomatic services, WB, EFI etc.
1 http://www.environews-rdc.org/2018/04/22/foret-cacophonie-au-tour-de-la-table-ronde-sur-la-levee-du-moratoire-en-rdc/ and http://www.environews-rdc.org/2018/04/22/foret-vers-la-levee-consensuelle-du-moratoire-en-rdc/