DRC: 13 communities at the forefront of a green economy development | WWF

DRC: 13 communities at the forefront of a green economy development

Posted on 19 June 2017
Forest in DRC, Mai Ndombe region.
© Julie Pudlowski/WWF
Kinshasa, DRC (19th June 2017) – 13 community forestry concessions titles were formally handed over to local communities in Mai-Ndombe two weeks ago. Thanks to the participatory approach and taking into consideration the indigenous peoples concerns, the REDD+ process in the Democratic Republic of Congo is contributing to a new green economy in the Mai-Ndombe province.

The collaborative process has been successful through the 13 forestry concessions titles officially handed over to local communities of the Mai-Ndombe province by the Governor Gentiny Ngobila. This occurred in an event that happened on June 5th in the WWF Malebo site with a massive participation of local population, traditional chiefs, villages’ leaders and officials of the two recipient territories, Bolobo and Mushie.

This official handover is under the principle 4 of REDD+ mechanism that recommends legal right of access to lands for local communities. Communities are requested to develop management plans with the support of the forestry administration and any activity to be implemented in these forestry concessions should be in accordance with these plans. They initiate projects for local development such as agriculture, beekeeping, and legal logging or simply maintain the community forests as nature reserves for tourism purposes for instance etc.
This achievement is the result of a substantial support from WWF DRC to the local communities to effectively involve them to the REDD+ process according to Laurent Nsenga, WWF DRC Lac Tumba Programme Manager. 
Support from WWF materialized in eight steps:
1 ° The Prerequisites (Sensitization, popularization of legal texts, identification of forests, and setting up of local development Committee, if it does not exist);
2 °. The constitution of the application file (commitment act, confirmation act, list of families,   community lineage, minutes of the community council assembly, participatory mapping);
3 °. Local administration identification;
4 °. Validation of the file by the Community Forestry Division;
5 ° National Registration;
6 °. The submission of the application file to the Governor’s office;
7 °. The follow-up of the process;
8 °. Obtaining the signature of the titles by the Governor of the province of Mai Ndombe.
 Upon delivery of these titles, the Governor of the Province of Mai-Ndombe declared: "I recommend you to make good use of these concessions in accordance with the community forest management rules. You have manage these resources responsibly for the development of the entire community and the welfare of mankind. You are the first beneficiaries of community forestry concessions titles in the province, so I urge you to protect these forests and impede illegal exploitation. "
Traditional chiefs and local leaders thanked the Governor for signing the communities’ forest concessions titles and making himself available to hand them over personally.
Emissions caused by deforestation & forest degradation represent 20% of the total greenhouse gas emitted in the World every year. This threat has led to the implementation of the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation & Forest Degradation process. Many countries committed to this process and developed national strategies to tackle this issue, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

 In the Democratic Republic of Congo, WWF played a key role in the development of the REDD+ process in Mai-Ndombe since 2010 and the enforcement of the largest jurisdictional REDD+ programme in Mai-Ndombe in 2015. The REDD+ programme in Mai-Ndombe is an initiative put in place to serve as a baseline for a green economy development in the Congo Basin and is a far-reaching climate action in Africa. It tackles deforestation and forest degradation key causes while promoting significant social benefits to local communities.
For further information, please contact:
-           Dandy Yela –Communications Manager WWF DRC : +243 999964899, dyela@wwfdrc.org
Forest in DRC, Mai Ndombe region.
© Julie Pudlowski/WWF Enlarge

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