CoNGOs is an IIED-led UK consortium that aims to achieve improved governance and practice in equitable and sustainable community forestry livelihoods in the Congo Basin.
Countries in the Congo Basin are at a crossroads in managing their lands and forests. Governments in the region have the ambition to transform their countries to ’emerging economy’ status within the next two decades, and national strategies aiming for economic growth focus on the exploitation of natural resources including forests, and the rapid development of agribusiness and energy infrastructures, often at large scale.
But the huge number of small scale producers, working on farms and in the forest, whose economic aspirations might unleash much more equitable and sustainable growth, are not adequately supported.
Community forestry has been one avenue through which stakeholders in the Congo Basin have sought to support participatory sustainable resource management and development. However, “community forestry” is also a contested idea.
There is an urgent need, not only to clarify, recognise and secure customary rights of forest-dependent communities, but to ensure that policies and laws as well as services aiming at supporting implementation offer real opportunity for those communities to participate in, and contribute to, sustainable economic progress in line with their own development visions.
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