There is a general lack of coherence in laws and policies governing natural resource exploitation and management in the Congo Basin.
Many new mining licenses overlap with networks of protected areas and logging concessions, including some which are FSC certified.
Resulting conflicts can harm both the environment and the local communities.
To address this issue, WWF is taking the following actions:
Analysis of existing legislation
Looking at contradictions and gaps between the oil and mining codes, forestry codes, environmental codes and texts of application in the different countries of the Congo Basin. This is to see how they can be strengthened, while at the same time trying to get different ministries to work more closely together.
Development of a land use map
This interactive geographical map would show the different layers of land use: geological and natural resources, protected areas, mining and forestry concessions, infrastructure, agricultural areas, human settlements, indigenous territories, artisanal mining sites etc. All this information is available separately but has not been combined yet. Such interactive map, or series of maps, would provide a sound basis for identifying land use conflicts, and areas that might be particularly vulnerable to the impact of mining.
Production of an inventory of overlapping mining and forestry concessions in Congo, Gabon and Cameroon
This inventory would focus on the experiences of FSC certified logging companies: how do they deal with mining companies on their concessions?