For a long time, it has been thought that the protection of community rights and the conservation of nature were two contradictory goals. However, both visions are perfectly reconcilable. Many challenges arise when it comes to reconciling the imperatives of conservation with the interests of communities bordering national parks and other protected areas.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), conservation authorities have relied on rigid conservation models, which take place within borders, exclusive of any community participation, as well as an awkward interpretation of national legislation to exclude communities from conservation.
This Advocacy Note clarifies the opportunities provided by national legislation and the existing conservation regulations in favour of community rights to access, use and management of protected areas.