Dans le cadre du projet « Voix des Citoyens pour le changement : observation forestière dans le Bassin du Congo » au Gabon, une mission de vingt jours, a été initiée par Brainforest depuis le 16 juillet 2017 à l’intérieur du pays. Il s’agira d’une façon globale, de présenter le projet aux parties prenantes (administrations territoriales et techniques, ONG locales et communautés locales) et de voir quelles sont les synergies qui peuvent être développées lors de la mise en oeuvre du projet.
Depuis une dizaine de jours déjà, l’équipe de mission sur le terrain a rencontré tour à tour, les autorités administrative et technique ainsi que les communautés locales de Cocobeach dans la province de l’Estuaire, puis, celles de la Ngounié et de la Nyanga. Et ces premières rencontres ont donné lieu à une forte sensibilisation des communautés locales sur « l’intérêt d’agir à la préservation des forêts contre les dangers de la déforestation par leur implication directe dans les activités d’observation des forêts». Ce périple de sensibilisation se poursuivra dans les prochains jours avec les provinces de l’Ogooué-Ivindo et du Woleu-Ntem.
Cette première mission qui s’achèvera le 4 aout 2017, et dont l’action principale est d’identifier des pistes de collaboration avec les parties prenantes identifiées, permettra plus tard de déterminer les domaines prioritaires de surveillance forestière au niveau Gabon. Le but à terme étant l’atteinte de l’« Amélioration de la qualité et de la disponibilité des informations de sources indépendantes sur la conformité aux normes juridiques en matière forestières et foncière »
Rappelons aussi, que le projet « Voix des Citoyens pour le Changement: Observation Forestière dans le Bassin du Congo » (CV4C) dont le lancement officiel des activités a eu lieu le 24 Avril 2017 à Kinshasa, est mis en oeuvre grâce au soutien financier de l’Union Européenne, de l’Institut des Ressources Mondiales (WRI , avec l’appui technique du CIDT de l’Université de Wolverhampton. Ce projet de quatre ans vise à renforcer la contribution des Acteurs Non Etatiques (ANE) – Organisations de la Société Civile (OSC), Populations Autochtones (PA) et communautés locales – à l’amélioration de la gouvernance forestière et à la gestion durable des forêts (GDF) dans 5 pays du Bassin du Congo (Gabon, Cameroun, RDC, RCA et République du Congo).
CIDT supports Forest Media Awards: Journalists rewarded for their writings at the service of forest governance
16 Cameroonian journalists were honored at the 3rd edition of the Forest Media Awards, on the 15th of June 2017 during a prestigious ceremony organized at the Hilton Hotel in Yaoundé. ForMA is a competition designed to reward journalists for their efforts to raise awareness on issues related to forest governance and climate change. It is an initiative of the association Forests and Rural Development (FODER). Like the two previous editions, ForMA was under the patronage of the Ministry of Communication and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife. Two prizes were therefore in competition for this edition: an Open prize and an AFR Special prize. It was organized with the financial support of the project “Citizens’ Voice for Change: Forest Monitoring in the Congo Basin” (CV4C).
The introduction of this Special prize related to the Annual Forest Royalty (AFR), was among the major innovations of this edition. Through this award, FODER wanted to reward journalists who, with their pen, contributed significantly to the advocacy for the restoration of the Annual Forest Royalty share intended to the communities, removed in the finance law of the 2015 budget exercise. The advocacy carried out with journalists’ support permitted to reintroduce it in part in the finance law of the 2017 budget exercise, up to 6.75%.
So, the journalist Pierre NKA of the daily newspaper quotidien de l’Economie climbed the first step in the AFR written press category. The best of the radio category of this same prize, is Georges Tsayid, from Metoung Radio in Abong-Mbang. For the open prize, Eugène NDI, Eden Newspaper, Viviane BAHOKEN from Africa 24, Ebenizer DIKI from RTS and Madeleine NGEUNGA of Madyngeunga.over—blog.com respectively received the winning-prize in the print media, television, radio and online media categories.
The first of each category of these prizes was honored with the amount of 500,000 FCFA. And, their media respectively received an envelope of 300,000 FCFA each. As for the second and third of each category, a professional dictaphone was given as a reward.
Article by Christelle KOUETCHA, FODER
CIDT and project partners FODER and World Resources Institute led a session on Independent Forest Monitoring (IFM) at the Chatham House Illegal Logging update in June 2017.
Following introduction by the Chair of the Session, Duncan Brack, Dr Aurelian Mbzibain in a scene-setting presentation, gave participants an overview of the state of forest monitoring in the Congo Basin and implications for forest management and due diligence decision making.
Through its ongoing Citizen Voices for Change: Forest Monitoring in the Congo Basin (CV4C) project, CIDT and its partners FODER and World Resources Institute (WRI) led the session on the role forest monitoring in improving transparency in the forest sector.
FODER (Cameroon) presented a case study on the impact of the SNOIE independent forest monitoring (IFM) system, while WRI introduced the Open Timber Portal (OTP). The OTP is being developed as part of the European Union funded CV4C project and will provide a one stop shop for forest monitoring data from project partners in the Congo Basin. Then the discussions centred on improving the credibility and practice of civil society led forest monitoring in order to increase the uptake of IFM outputs by stakeholders.
This two-day meeting (19-20 June 2017) organised by the Think Tank Chatham House, is part of a series of illegal logging update meetings that bring together participants from civil society, industry and governments from around the world. It brought together over 250 participants with the aim of providing an update on global efforts to improve forest governance and reduce illegal logging. Topics on the agenda included:
- Timber trade regulations – approaches from around the world;
- Update on the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan and Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) countries;
- Recent developments in China to tackle the trade in illegal timber and promote responsible overseas investment;
- Improving transparency through forest monitoring and satellite technology.
Photo by Interpol. See more photos on the Interpol website.
CIDT’s work on forest governance and forest monitoring was recognised when it was invited to attend an international conference organised by Interpol. One of the key outcomes of the conference was the establishment of a specialised international working group on forestry crime. CIDT will be part of this working group through the NGOs and Civil Society Stakeholder platform.
The three-day (12-14 June) Global Forestry Crime Conference gathered some 100 representatives from the timber industry, financial institutions, investigative non-governmental organizations, and law enforcement agencies to shape a transnational response against the ‘business’ of forestry crime.
The conference held at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France highlighted the need for national and international law enforcement agencies to engage with the global network of NGOs, financial institutions, and the timber industry to identify priorities, share best practices and coordinate activities.
Opening the conference, the INTERPOL Executive Director of Police Services Tim Morris said: “Criminal intelligence held by INTERPOL confirms that the same routes and modus operandi used for the illegal trade of timber are also used for the illegal movement of commodities such as drugs and protected wildlife.” Mr Morris added that, “It is important that investigations into forestry crime target the kingpins who control the networks and finance the illegal logging operations as a business. We must acknowledge the extent to which organized criminal networks are involved with corporate crime, and increase transnational, multi-agency cooperation and investigations.”
Over the 3 day conference CIDT representative and Independent Forest Monitoring Expert on the Congo Basin Forest Monitoring project, Richard Nyirenda also held meetings and discussions with other experts from the private sector, international NGOs and national enforcement agencies. The discussions centred around how the Congo Basin Forest Monitoring project could partner with other experts so that it can effectively undertake its monitoring and capacity strengthening activities by focussing on financial flows, corruption, engagement with law enforcement agencies and applying technology based solution in forest monitoring.
Today the Centre for International Development Training (CIDT), University of Wolverhampton launches a set of training materials to support forest monitors around the world.
The online Independent Forest Monitoring (IFM) training materials comprise over 30 presentations, group exercises and handouts arranged in four main modules: context, setting up an IFM initiative, implementing an IFM initiative and using what you find. In addition the website provides modules on setting up an IFM training course and ‘Next Steps’ to help ensure learning is put into practice. To complete the set there are three model timetables providing options for a two- four- or nine-day course.
The materials are primarily aimed at civil society organisations and other practitioners of Independent Forest Monitoring, in order that they can provide high-quality training workshops. They can be downloaded and used by trainers and trainees alike, and are a useful reference for anyone involved in IFM to understand more about particular aspects they might be interested in. For example each module can be accessed individually to suit particular training needs, or a complete set in a zip file can be downloaded at the click of a button. The open and modular nature of the materials – along with key learning objectives for each section – also allows them to be adapted to local circumstances or specific trainees’ needs. For this reason and to make them faster to download they contain very few images or local content.
The training materials have very-much been developed from experience, drawing extensively on the work of experienced IFM trainers and practitioners, and each PowerPoint presentation comes with extensive presenter’s notes. They are the product of numerous training courses run over the last decade, including the Independent Forest Monitoring component of CIDT’s popular Improving Forest Governance course as well as those offered by Forets et Développement Rural (FODER), Global Witness, and Resource Extraction Monitoring (REM). They have been collated by David Young.
In addition to these organisations, the production and publication of these materials has been made possible in part through the financial assistance of the European Union and UK Aid provided to CIDT (through SAFG, EUCFPR and CV4C projects), and Global Witness between 2014 and 2017.
For enquiries or further information, please contact CIDT’s Richard Nyirenda.
Representatives from all 8 partner organisations of the Citizen Voices for Change: Forest Monitoring in the Congo Basin project came together for the first time for the CV4C Project Launch and Action-planning workshop, held in Kinshasa from 24th-28th April.
The five-day workshop marked the end of an intensive four month project inception period during which a series of needs assessments were undertaken in each of the 5 project countries. These included an organisational needs assessment, gender audit and forest monitoring capacity assessment with partners, and an institutional needs assessment with national civil society platforms.
Days 1 and 2 of the workshop provided an opportunity for partners to review and discuss the outcomes of the needs assessment process as well as preliminary findings from the baseline study. Country teams then worked together to formulate their Year 1 action plans, responding to the institutional and technical needs identified, as well as the key governance challenges in the forest sector in their respective countries. All action plans were presented and discussed, allowing partners to explore ideas for cross-border and regional collaboration and for organisational peer support.
Following the official project launch ceremony on Day 3, attention turned to internal management and coordination systems. The structure of each partner organisation’s project team was presented and mechanisms for communication at organisational level, and across the consortium were discussed. Financial management and accounting procedures were also reviewed in a session led by the finance managers of project partners FODER and FLAG, and the composition and Terms of Reference of the Project Steering Committee were established. Finally partners had an opportunity to input to the draft project communication strategy and to share innovative ideas about how to promote awareness of the project and to influence change, both nationally and across the region.
A few photos from the workshops are shown below. You can view the full photo album online at Flickr.
CIDT co-organises international conference on Independent Forest Monitoring in West and Central Africa
An international conference on Independent Forest Monitoring has been held in Accra-Ghana jointly organised by Civic Response Ghana and the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT), University of Wolverhampton.
This was a collaborative effort between the Civic Response led Independent forest monitoring project financed by the FAO FLEGT Programme and the Congo Basin Forest Monitoring project (CV4C) implemented by the Centre for International Development and Training of the University of Wolverhampton with European Union funding.
The two-day conference took place from 10-11 May 2017 and was attended by over 70 participants from Cameroon, Cote D’ivoire, Liberia, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Indonesia and Turkey. They key aim was to share lessons and chart the way forward for civil society led independent forest monitoring.
Opening the international conference, the Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio stressed the importance of independent forest monitoring as a tool for improving transparency, accountability and the fight against illegality in the forest sector, “We intend for IFM to be used as a tool that provides us with adequate feedback to continually improve forest management practice and the systems.”
Over the two days, CIDT technical staff, Dr Aurelian Mbzibain and Richard Nyirenda and CV4C partners from the Observatoire de la Gouvernance Forestière (OGF) from Democratic Republic of Congo and Field Legality Assurance Group (FLAG), and Forêts et Développement Rural (FODER) from Cameroon made presentations focused on international forest policies, the impact of IFM on policy and practice of forestry in the Congo Basin as well as lessons learnt in mandated and non mandated forest monitoring in the Congo Basin. You can download these presentations at the LoggingOff website. It is expected that lessons learnt and experiences acquired by CV4C project partners will go a long way to inform effective implementation of the project in the next coming years.
For the full photo gallery from the event please see the album on Flickr.
The Citizen Voices for Change project was officially launched in Kinshasa on 26 April by H.E Atis Kabongo Kalonji, the Minster of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Attended by representatives of the European Union, Civil Society, CIDT and partner organisations from all five project countries, as well as several media channels and approximately 100 guests, the launch featured a range of speeches and a full introduction to the project. It was followed by a press conference for local and regional media.
The Minister (above) thanked technical and financial partners of the project, and emphasised the alignment of the project objectives with the national vision for 2030 espoused by President Joseph Kabila KABANGE. He stressed that Independent Monitoring must support the VPA process in DRC by showing the traceability of timber.
The opening speech was made by the hosting project partner, Mr Essylot Lubala (above) from the Observatoire de la Gouvernance Forestière (OGF). He stressed the importance of forging a capable forest monitoring system and its potential to become an effective tool to evaluate and strengthen compliance in the forest sector.
Mr Joseph Bobia Bonkaw (above) then addressed the launch as the formal representative of civil society in DRC. He spoke about the timely nature of this project in the region, as well as the potential impact on indigenous peoples that depend on the forest.
The Director of the Project, Ella Haruna (above) of CIDT, next thanked the European Union for their commitment to driving results in the forest governance sphere at national, regional and global levels; and their significant financial support to make this partnership and project a reality. She continued:
“The CV4C project approach balances the response to particular national governance challenges, with the facilitation of maximum opportunities for regional lesson learning and collaboration. Joint capacity strengthening is a key feature of this Action, serving to build local ownership and long term sustainable impacts.”
The European Union was represented by the Head of Sector for Environment, Agriculture and Health Mr Arnold Jacques de Dixmude (above). He spoke about the EU’s motivations in investing in the project, placing it in the context of wider forest governance initiatives, such as FLEGT.
The CIDT Project Manager Dr Aurelian Mbzibain (above) then took the floor to present the project context, its objectives and formally introduce the partners. You can view his PowerPoint presentation.
The launch concluded with the national anthem of the Democratic Republic of Congo and a press conference with a panel comprised of project partners, including FLAG, CED and WRI.
- Visit the CV4C project website to find out more about this project, it’s objectives and our partners.
- Get the latest project updates by following CV4C on Twitter.
- Follow the CV4C YouTube playlist to which we will be adding speeches and interviews from this event and others.
The project launch event was attended by a variety of mainstream and environmental media. The following broadcast appeared on Channel B One.
A new £5 million project is to be launched by the University of Wolverhampton to transform the lives of people in the Congo rainforest and protect the endangered environment.
The Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) has secured funding of 6.25m Euros from the European Union to support forest governance in five Congo Basin countries.
The project will benefit 75 million poor men, women and young people living in forest dependent areas in the Congo Basin, which is home to the second largest tropical rain-forested area in the world.
Over the next four years, the CIDT team will work with partners in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo.
The aim is to work in partnership with local organisations and communities to ensure private sector companies are working within their contracts and operating within EU timber regulations governing deforestation and legal exports.
The project aims to empower the communities to monitor activities on the ground in the countries, ensuring social agreements are met.
CIDT experts have significant experience of working in communities on forest governance projects in countries such as Nepal, Cameroon, Ghana and Liberia.
They will spend time in the Congo Basin working with partners in the country, sharing their expertise and knowledge to build capacity.
Dr Aurelian Mbzibain, Programme Manager for the Citizen Voices for Change project, said: “We are delighted to have secured funding for this major project in the Congo Basin, which will positively impact on the lives of millions of people living in forest communities.
“CIDT has significant experience of forest governance projects and improving sustainability in some of the poorest areas of the world by working alongside indigenous peoples and local organisations.
“This 6.25m Euro project will establish a strong and sustainable partnership of forest monitoring NSAs (non-state actors, such as community organisations) in the five countries.
“The aim is to strengthen the contribution of NSAs to improving forest governance, sustainable forest management and the contribution of forests to development.”
This news item created by the University of Wolverhampton Media Relations Office. See original article at https://www.wlv.ac.uk/about-us/news-and-events/latest-news/2017/february-2017/funding-for-5million-rainforest-project-secured.php.
CIDT are looking to recruit an M&E firm to provide services over the lifetime of our recently commissioned 4 year project – Citizen Voices for Change: Congo Basin Forest Monitoring Project.
The M&E services will , include a baseline study in the first quarter of year 1, mid-term review at the beginning of year 3 and final evaluation following the end of the project in year 4.
For full details please download the Terms of Reference (PDF 178kb) for this contract.
Applications to be sent to CV4C-Forestmonitoring@wlv.ac.uk no later than the 8th February 2017.