It is within the framework of the project “Strengthening forest monitoring and law enforcement in the Congo Basin / CV4C – FGMC”, funded by the European Union and DFID, that the NGO Comptoir Juridique Junior (CJJ), in partnership with the Center for International Development and Training (CIDT), organized an awareness workshop at Edmond Hôtel de Brazzaville for the benefit of some 30 stakeholders. This two-day workshop, from Thursday, 31 January to Friday, 01 February 2019, aimed to inform and educate stakeholders on Independent External Forest Monitoring (IFM) and the process of developing a standardized system known by its French acronym SNOIE – Système Normalisé d’Observation Indépendante Externe.
The workshop was an opportunity for participants from various backgrounds, including the public administration (Ministry of Forestry Economy, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Labor and Social Security), the private sector (AITBT, IFO, Thanry-Congo), parliamentarians (national assembly and senate), justice professionals (magistrates, lawyer), police, gendarmerie and civil society organizations, to discuss and exchange around the implementation of the monitoring system. SNOIE is a set of monitoring processes for the exploitation of natural resources based on an international standard (ISO 9001: 2008 updated to ISO 9001: 2015) including observation, verification, communication and lobbying. It consists of documenting and denouncing violations linked to the exploitation of natural resources, monitoring and disseminating the decisions of the competent authorities.
The two days of discussions and exchanges with the various stakeholders led to a few recommendations:
At Parliamentarian level:
- Ensure when adopting the new forest law the maintenance of integrated provisions on the consideration of independent forest observation.
At forest administration level:
- Support civil society throughout the development process of SNOIE-Congo;
- Produce a record of all cases of overlap in use in the forest sector, so that corrective measures are taken in the development of the National Planning Policy (PNAT).
At civil society level:
- The European Union proposes that a standardized system of independent observation (SNOI), rather than a standardized external independent observation system (SNOIE), be established in general only.
From all stakeholders:
- Establish a multi-stakeholder stakeholder platform to coordinate forest control work in the context of external independent observation.
Finally, the future stages of development of SNOIE-Congo were presented, including:
- Testing, improvement and validation of the SNOIE-Congo through: adaptation or development of tools and acquisition of work equipment; NGO training; pre-validation; testing and improving the system; system validation and skill upgrading.
- The implementation of SNOIE-Congo: the realization of external observation missions; training of internal auditors and support for management review; the validation of the skills of the internal auditors and the carrying out of the external audit.
Lilian Laurin BARROS,
Project Manager and Permanent Secretary of CJJ, Republic of Congo