Community-based Forest Management in the Congo Basin
A report from the Rainforest Foundation UK, shows how attempts of community based forest management in the Congo Basin thus far have not been able to transfer meaningful rights or benefits to local communities. Only around 1% of the total Congo Basin is under the formal control or management of local communities while industrial-scale logging represents by far the biggest land use in the region. Evidence strongly suggests that the best outcomes emerge where community forest policies are grounded in widely recognised, legally-enforced and secure rights which allow communities themselves to establish and enforce rules governing the access and use of forests. This report shows that customary systems in the Congo Basin have remained generally stable and resilient to colonial forces and the extractive industries – and should be recognised as valid forms of forest management in their own right. The report finds that there is however still much to play for as ‘new approaches’ emerge in international policy-making.