From 19-22 June 2018, around 15 CSOs implementing Independent Monitoring (IM) in the Congo Basin are once again meeting to address the issue of illegal logging. This phenomenon which increasingly affects forest management in the sub-region requires further attention. This Institutional Strengthening workshop of the regional platform of these CSOs took place in Douala, organised by FLAG as part of the implementation of the CV4C project. The meeting aims at strengthening the position of the regional IM platform as a more professional, credible and effective advocacy body.
Horline Njike, General Secretary of FLAG, in her introductory remarks said: “The sub-regional CSO platforms that implement IM want to work together to rally against illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Congo Basin. To this end, we intend to coordinate our actions in the region, and speak with a common voice so that we can be heard by the national and international community, in order to put together policies to change and improve the way natural resources are currently managed and exploited.”
For this purpose, IM experts of the Congo Basin will meet for four days to develop shared regional references on IM, taking into account existing methodologies and tools, and consider potential options to mobilise resources and ensure the sustainability of IM in the Congo Basin.
It is worth noting that, whether mandated or not, IM faces a number of challenges on a regular basis such as: access to information, conflictual relations with the forestry administration and the private sector, to name a few. This occurs despite the undisputed fact that IM is increasingly recognised as an effective tool in the fight against illegal logging in forest-rich African countries. However, much work remains to be done.