Capacity building for parliamentarians in CAR in training skills and gender mainstreaming

6 December 2017
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Photo des travaux en salle

At the outset of the CV4C project the Parliament in Central African Republic (CAR) was identified as a key actor and significant target for capacity building. Members of Parliament in Central African Republic (CAR) are more than ever determined to contribute to the improvement of forest governance.

Six MPs from the Production, Natural Resources and Environment Commission took part in workshops on training of trainers and gender mainstreaming in forest governance processes in CAR. At the end of each session, the MPs proposed an action plan for the next step.

Summary of the action plan

Training of Trainers

  1. Feedback on the workshop to be delivered to the Production, Environment and Natural Resources Commission;
  2. Feedback to be delivered to other National Assembly Committees;
  3. Training of parliamentarians in forest governance.

Training on gender mainstreaming

  1. Feedback on the training to MPs of other Committees;
  2. Training of parliamentarians on gender mainstreaming in forest governance processes;
  3. Collection and analyses of national legislation concerning forest governance in relation to the gender;
  4. Proposal for the integration of gender into forest governance legislation.

A total of fifty MPs took part in this feedback workshop which was chaired by Hon. Jean Michel MANDABA, Chairman of the Production, Natural Resources and Environment Commission, representative of the President of the National Assembly. The MPs have requested and obtained technical and financial support from the project in order to organise a feedback workshop to their fellow MPs who are members of other Committees.

In his opening speech, Hon. Jean Michel MANDABA expressed his satisfaction for the presence of the elected representatives, which proves the interest and importance of the country’s natural resources and the work of environmental NGOs. He then reminded the MPs and members of the Central African civil society organisations that despite efforts made by the government during the transition, much remains to be done. On behalf of the President of the National Assembly, he  indicated his full availability to support environmental NGOs in their activities. He also reminded his colleagues that during the inception phase of the project, consultations were made with them in order to know their needs in relation to capacity building. He urged his colleagues by saying “if we have left our jobs to be here, it is because we understand the importance of responsibility of all parties towards forest governance in the Central African Republic”.

Following the two speeches, an opportunity was given to various communicators within CIEDD to: give a clear knowledge of CIEDD, present the added value it has brought in its field of expertise, as well as demonstrate the basis and importance of the collaboration between CIEDD and the MPs. Finally CIEDD presented the background of CV4C project and the current state of independent forest observation in the 5 target countries, as well as focusing on the project objectives and expected results.

The feedback

During their feedback, the MPs and participants in the training presented: the role of parliamentarians in improving the governance of forest resources. This presentation revolved around findings that justify good forest governance, the notion of good governance according to the MPs, and also on how and at what level the parliament can intervene to improve the governance of forest resources.

The presenter concluded by referring to Article 60 of the Constitution (Art.60: The National Assembly decides on proposed draft laws) which according to him is a starting point that strengthens the role of MPs.

Gender mainstreaming in governance processes was proposed by Hon. KOIROKPI Antoine. This covered the objectives of the training workshop, the content of the training, barriers to women’s participation and gender analysis tools for its integration into FLEGT-VPA, REDD+ and other forest governance processes.

He also spoke about the development of gender sensitive indicators to assess and monitor changes, as well as the development of an action plan and why gender in forest governance is a necessity.

The different presentations and feedbacks were followed by discussions and suggestions, at the end of which questions were addressed to the presenters who then responded to the questions.

Key discussion points

  1. The promotion of gender mainstreaming, on which CIEDD has already taken its first steps by setting up a focal point, whose representative is Norma GUITINZIA YENGBO. Individuals who have taken part in training and feedback can be involved in promoting gender mainstreaming, or could request for support from the project.
  2. The conversion rate laid down by law, on which the Committee chairperson pointed out that thanks to the feedback from MPs who questioned the outgoing Minister on the conversion rate, the Minister then amended the decree resulting to an increase in export duties on logs which prevented companies from processing timber in CAR.

Key recommendations 

  1. Capacity building to take place for all MPs on forest governance;
  2. The revision of the last Forest Code of 2008 to fit current realities (FLEGT-VPA process, REDD+ and community forestry).

The chairperson of the meeting, in his capacity as representative of his Excellency President of the National Assembly, reassures all participants that the National Assembly already has a partnership with CIEDD and intends to continue this partnership by supporting it in advocacy of all kinds. He ended by congratulating the project team for all the work done.

Photo of the Chairperson, Hon. Jean Michel MANDABA, Chairman of the Production, Natural Resources and Environment Commission, personal representative of the President of the National Assembly.

Interview of Hon. DIMBELE by the press at the end of the proceedings.