Réseau CREF’s motto is: ‘forest ecosystems for the benefit of mankind’
Le Réseau pour la Conservation et la Réhabilitation des Ecosystèmes Forestiers (Réseau CREF) is a non-profit organisation which was founded in May 2003 in Kanyabayonga, Lubero Territory, in North Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is a network of non-governmental organisations covering six territories (Walikale, Masisi, Nyiragongo, Rutshuru, Lubero and Beni) and three towns (Beni, Butembo and Goma) in North Kivu Province, DRC. Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) first started working with Réseau CREF in 2011 when Réseau CREF became one of the partner organisations involved in the FPP project on ‘REDD financing, Human Rights and Economic Development for Sustainable Poverty Reduction of forest communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo’.
Their mission is to protect the forests and defend the rights and interests of the communities who depend on forest resources. They exist in order to provide a framework for coordinating, lobbying and advocacy, and building the capacity of the united group of active and professional members involved in the conservation and rehabilitation of forest ecosystems in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Réseau CREF was created to join the fight against poverty in the local forest-dependent communities through sound management of the DRC’s forest ecosystems.
Réseau CREF’s objectives:
The network has a number of objectives, including:
• Giving technical support to member organisations in the key conservation sectors and who are rehabilitating forest ecosystems;
• Encouraging a system for working in synergy with those members operating as a single entity and between different entities;
• Undertaking lobbying and advocacy for its members to achieve greater performance in the conservation of forestry ecosystems;
• Raising awareness at the local, national and international levels about the biodiversity resources of North Kivu in particular, and the Democratic Republic of Congo in general.
The organisation’s main focus areas:
The main focus areas are the rights of forest communities, forest governance, REDD and climate change, natural resource management and participatory mapping.
The strategies and financing of the new five-year plan (2013-2018), has ten core elements:
1. Information, Education, Communication and Environmental Action Research;
2. Governance and Transparency within the forestry sector;
3. Community forestry;
4. REDD and climate change;
5. Creation of a Community Dynamic around protected areas;
6. The Stability and Dignity of indigenous peoples;
7. Management of the Urban Environment;
8. Fisheries Management;
9. Mining and hydrocarbon production;
10. Institutional management of the five-year plan.