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Forest and climate governance in the Republic of Congo: What future for independent external forest monitoring?
Par: Sebastien Korwin
Publié: avril 30, 2022
Type de document: Rapport
Document ID: 9264
Nombre de vues: 54
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Forest and climate governance in the Republic of Congo: What future for independent external forest monitoring?

The Republic of Congo is largely covered by tropical forests, with a forest estate covering
an area of about 22 million hectares,1 or more than 60 per cent of the national territory.
The country is also one of Africa’s top ten oil producers and has abundant, mostly
untapped mineral resources.

The first Independent Forest Monitoring (IFM) experiments were conducted by the
non-governmental organisation (NGO) Global Witness, as well as by Resource Extraction
Monitoring (REM) in countries such as Cambodia, Cameroon, Honduras, Nicaragua, the
Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo in the 2000s. The aim
of IFM was to enable NGOs to contribute to the improvement of forest governance by
carrying out activities to monitor the legality of forest operators. IFM is now practised by
many international and African civil society actors and has evolved in terms of both scope
and strategic approach.

This analysis note aims to provide an overview of Independent Monitoring in the Republic
of Congo, with a particular focus on the activities of Independent Observers (IOs), who
operate without an official government mandate, referred to as ‘non-mandated’ or
‘external’ IOs.

In terms of priorities, the IOs in Congo should consider:

• defining the scope of activity and specialisations of each IO, to allow a better distribution of tasks
and responsibilities;
• publishing the harmonised EIM methodology, together with evidence of members’ commitment
to use this methodology;
• publishing the organisational structure for the implementation of the SNOIE and clearly explaining
the distribution of roles (between CAGDF and the IOs, on the one hand, and among the different
IOs, on the other), responsibilities (thematic, operational) and geographical coverage;
• publishing the process followed from initial observation to publication of reports and advocacy;
• whether better coordination between IOs could be achieved by broadening the mandate of SNOIE
(beyond the forestry sector) or whether each sector needs a coordinating platform between IOs.
This reflection could be based on the mapping of the main civil society platforms in the different
natural resource sectors (already carried out by EFI) and in collaboration with GESOP. The results
of this exercise could support the civil society support programme implemented by CAFI; and
• in addition to their participation in the development process of the Congo NDC, all IOs could
consider applying the IO methodology to monitoring its implementation (bearing in mind that
forest protection is part of the NDC commitments) and to examining the evolution of forest
cover in relation to the commitments made. Another avenue of research could be to examine
the flow of funding available to and spent on the implementation of the NDC by NGOs more
specialised in financial transparency