• CIDT signs an important MOU with the Somali Ecological Society

    31 July 2017
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    Somali Ecological Society

    The Chairman of the Somali Ecological Society, Mohamoud Ibrahim and the Head of CIDT, Professor Philip Dearden signed an important Memorandum of Understanding on 27th July 2017.

    During a visit to CIDT by seven members of the Somali Ecological Society, the two organisations agreed to work together for the rebuilding of Somalia especially in relation to Capacity Strengthening in Natural Resource Management and Climate Compatible Development.

    The Somali Ecological Society (SES) is a non-profit environmental NGO set up in the 1980s to promote the conservation of flora and fauna in Somalia and the sustainable utilisation of Somalia’s natural resources.

    The SES members reside in Somalia as well as in the Diaspora; – many are PhD and Masters holder in the natural sciences, with strong links with the Somali Government (both South and North).

    The Somali Government is seeking assistance from the SES to help rebuild national capacity of the natural resources sector after 30 years of civil war. In turn the SES have asked CIDT to partner in this task because of long-standing historic links. In the 1980s a number of CIDT staff were actively engaged in capacity strengthening of the natural resources sector in Somalia through training and education. A number of SES members are alumni of the University of Wolverhampton having studied at CIDT in the 1980s.

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  • Complete set of training materials for Independent Forest Monitoring launched

    20 June 2017
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    IFM Materials

    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.

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  • Action planning workshops bring 8 project partners together

    26 May 2017
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    CV4C action planning workshops

    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.

    Photos Gallery

    A few photos from the workshops are shown below. You can view the full photo album online at Flickr.

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  • CIDT co-organises international conference on Independent Forest Monitoring in West and Central Africa

    17 May 2017
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    Ghana IFM Conference

    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.

    Ghana IFM Conference

    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.

    Photo Gallery

    For the full photo gallery from the event please see the album on Flickr.

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  • Minister launches new CIDT project in Congo

    9 May 2017
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    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.

    Key links

    TV Broadcast

    The project launch event was attended by a variety of mainstream and environmental media. The following broadcast appeared on Channel B One.

    Photo gallery

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  • Feasibility studies demonstrate potential for low carbon, climate resilient growth in Rwanda

    8 May 2017
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    Tea landscape

    CIDT has completed a substantial and important six-month contract to produce seven studies underpinning a $50m proposal by the Government of Rwanda to an international finance organisation. The studies interconnect across three themes: sustainable forest management, landscape, and watershed management; climate resilient production of tea and coffee; and affordable, low carbon settlements and industries as growth hubs. CIDT led a team of fifty people in the feasibility studies.

    The reports highlight that it is feasible to invest in developing five interlinked Low Carbon Climate Resilient (LCCR) value chains: tea, coffee, timber and forest products, agro-fired bricks, improved cook-stoves, charcoal, and house construction.

    The studies found it feasible to: increase the resilience of tea and coffee production, land management and settlements to climate change; increase the range and supply of sustainable timber, fuel wood and non-timber forest products from improved management of forest resources and improve watershed management through soil stabilisation and agroforestry. It is also expected that the project will be able to create new woodlots along with improved energy efficiencies for tea processing at a tea factory.

    Developed together in an integrated manner, for a particular geographical location, the developed value chains are expected to reduce dependency on imported construction materials with high levels of embodied carbon, increase forestry and agroforestry revenues, improve household energy efficiency and increase availability of and access to affordable, low carbon housing.

    Additionally, it will be feasible to improve access to and capacity to use climate information and analysis by policy makers in decision-making and to promote an enabling environment for businesses and investors.

    The Government is using these results to support a $50m proposal that demonstrates a model of accelerated growth and development based on the principles of low carbon, climate resilient (LCCR) growth and has been designed to strengthen the foundational capacities required for the ongoing replication of adaptation and mitigation strategies country-wide aligned to national green growth strategy.

    The seven feasibility studies were carried out with sub-contractors Paul Watkiss Associates, Light Earth Designs, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Songa Silvin, Venuste Ntaganda and MDY Legal. The studies were:

    1. Low carbon climate resilient settlements for rural (internally displaced people) and peri-urban settings
    2. Climate Resilience of Tea and coffee
    3. Sustainable Forest Management and Watershed Protection
    4. Economic and Financial Models
    5. Gender Study
    6. Environment and Social Impact Study
    7. Legal Study

    CIDT Deputy Head of Centre and Project Manager Rachel Roland commented on the potential impact of these studies, “Building a funding proposal on the findings of these illuminating feasibility studies will give the Government a great opportunity to build on their world-leading work in climate compatible development. We’ve been glad to be able to contribute at this stage of the process.”

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  • New partnership brings proven forest governance strategies to SE Asia

    23 March 2017
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    Canford Chiroro from CIDT facilitates a discussion on capacity needs assessment copy

    CIDT is excited to be part of a high impact partnership led by BirdLife International in South East Asia. Over three years CIDT will deliver capacity strengthening, as well as its established ‘Improving Forest Governance’ course and ‘Forest Governance Forum’ event.

    CIDT is set to deliver its flagship and country-tailored Improving Forest Governance course in each of the four project countries (Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia) during the first and second years of the project. This will be followed up by a Forest Governance Forum in year three, which will bring in different stakeholders, from government to private sectors, universities and think-tank organisations, to civil society groups and donors, to discuss ideas on forest governance and share experiences under different themes.

    Our key role focuses on strengthening capacity of the four partners. This will include developing key skills in stakeholder engagement, influencing and negotiating, training others and communicating effectively, as well as to enable partners and their local counterparts in civil society, to engage more effectively with government and private sector in promoting good forest governance.

    This new five-year European Commission funded project – ‘Strengthening engagement of Non-State Actors in forest governance in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea’ – was launched earlier this year.

    The project partners are Burung in Indonesia; Malaysia Nature Society; Haribon in the Philippines, and Tenkile in Papua New Guinea. In addition, the University of Papua New Guinea will provide support in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing to monitor changes in the targeted forest areas.

    Speaking at the project Inception Workshop hosted by the Philippine partner, Haribon, in Manila, CIDT’s Dr Canford Chiroro, representing CIDT said that:

    “This is a unique opportunity for CIDT. We look forward to working with the four partners in this region, and hope that our experience and lessons from our projects in the Congo Basin, and indeed other forest regions will add value to the South-East Asia project”.

    In closing the workshop in Manila, Dr Hum Gurung, the interim Coordinator, thanked the European Commission for supporting this forest conservation initiative and shared a refreshing insight into influencing change through a Japanese business approach called ‘Nemawashi’, which is the informal process of quiet consultation with key individuals and small groups to gather support, gain feedback and lay foundations for change.

    CIDT is also leading another project funded under the same European Commission call. Citizen Voices for Change will deliver capacity strengthening in the area of Independent Forest Monitoring in the Congo Basin.


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  • Funding for £5 million rainforest project secured

    6 February 2017
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    Image: Kim Kane

    Forest monitoringA 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.

    Forest monitoringOver 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.”

    Key links


    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.


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  • Strengthening the role of Civil Society and Community Organisations in Forest Governance in Liberia

    5 December 2016
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    Sarah Thomas has recently returned from a 10 day consultancy in Liberia, where she continues to provide support to strengthen the role and participation of Civil Society and community organisations in forest governance.

    During this visit Sarah was working with mid-level member organisations of the NGO Coalition of Liberia to help strengthen their profile within the network. She worked alongside the NGO Coalition Facilitator to review the organisational identity, skills and experience of five nominated organisations and to provide inputs and guidance on strategic development, networking and communications.

    The visit also included facilitation of a three-day workshop on Project Design and Proposal Writing for the NGO Coalition and representatives of the National Union of Community Forestry Development Committees (NUCFDC) Secretariat.


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  • CIDT delivers training session for ‘Understanding FLEGT’ Workshop in Myanmar

    22 September 2016
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    Myanmar group mapping

    Myanmar group photo

    CIDT Consultant Sarah Thomas has recently returned from Myanmar, following an invitation from leading Civil Society organisation ALARM/EcoDev to deliver a training session on multi-stakeholder communication and representation as part of their EU-funded ‘FLEGT in Myanmar: Laying the Foundations, Mobilising Civil Society’ Project.

    Myanmar stakeholder mapSarah’s session formed part of a 2 day workshop which was attended by 70 national CSO representatives, parliamentarians and members of the National League of Democracy (NLD). The workshop was intended to raise awareness of the EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, as Myanmar prepares to begin the formal process of negotiating a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), guaranteeing the legality of timber exports, with the EU.

    The multi-stakeholder process through which VPAs are negotiated is particularly challenging in Myanmar; a country with a long history of natural resource-related conflict and where a fragile peace process is ongoing. Ensuring that the voices of all stakeholders- Government, Private Sector, Civil society , Communities, and Ethnic Armed Groups – can find a platform in the process will be critical.

    During the session workshop participants mapped out existing stakeholder relationships and the sources of conflict, and discussed what it means to be an effective representative within this complex multi-stakeholder process.

    Myanmar group mapping

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