This project aims to build the capacity of civil society organisations’ (CSO) and indigenous peoples’ (IP) to contribute to the implementation and monitoring of VPAs. It seeks to empower marginalised forest communities and indigenous peoples in the Congo Basin to actively participate in the decisions that affect their lives, specifically in the implementation of VPAs and related forest and land reforms.
The expected results of the project are:
1. Concerns of non-state actors, including recognition of the rights of local communities including indigenous peoples, integrated into VPA actions.
- Raise local communities’ and indigenous peoples’ awareness of governance aspects of VPA
- Develop mechanisms towards improved representation of communities and indigenous peoples
- Support for civil society platforms to play an effective role in VPA implementation.
- VPA implementation and Rights Training courses.
- Organisational development courses for national civil society platforms and local partners.
- CS and community participation in legal, policy and institutional reforms relevant to the rights of forest communities.
- Legal, organisational and other support to CS to ensure effective participation in legal reform processes and implementation committees.
2. Effective implementation of VPAs, through greater direct input from CSOs, to ensure VPAs deliver improved forest governance.
- Facilitate regional communication and experience sharing through the African Community Rights Network (2014, 2016) and a Forest Forum (2015)
- Support the revision of curricula within higher educational institutions focused on forestry eg. Centre Régional en Agriculture, Forêt et Bois (CRESA), Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, University of Dschang, Ecole des Eaux et Forêts de Mbalmayo
Project target groups
The final beneficiaries of this project are the five million forest dependent communities adversely affected by poor forest governance in Cameroon and CAR, amongst which are 85,000 indigenous people (approximately 45,000 in Cameroon and 40,000 in CAR). There will also be indirect benefits to users of public services such as healthcare and education in both countries as increased transparency and effective taxation systems will fund improvements in government services.
The project is working with the following groups:
- The 30 member organisations of the platform Gestion Durable des Ressources Naturelles et de l’Environnement (GDRNE) in CAR
- The 40 member organisations of the Forests and Communities Platform (ECPF) in Cameroon
- Indigenous peoples’ associations and their representatives in National VPA Committees in CAR and Cameroon
- Academia and vocational training institutions in CAR and Cameroon
There are seven partner organisations involved in implementing this project: CIDT, FPP, FERN, CED, FODER, MEFP and CIEDD.