The August 26th killing of a Batwa youth by an eco-guard was tragic in itself, but also represents a far more widespread conservation-related tragedy.
A young Batwa boy has been shot dead after being found in a national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo with his father.
There have been some significant gains in recent months in the journey towards securing community forest rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On 2nd August 2014, the long-awaited community forestry decree (CFD) was finally signed by the Congolese Prime Minister. This was seen as a notable improvement to the land tenure and forest governance regime in the DRC. Civil society organisations, and indigenous and local communities had been waiting for the decree with high hopes since the Forest Code was adopted in 2002, paving the way for a new forest governance framework.*
Fifteen organisations working with indigenous women, including Forest Peoples Programme, have joined forces to emphasise the injustice and multiple forms of discrimination suffered by indigenous women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the Committee). States are required to submit reports to the Committee every four years, describing legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures they have adopted to implement the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (the Convention). The DRC’s report will be examined by the Committee on 11 July 2013 in the presence of a delegation of Congolese government representatives. The proceedings can be watched live online at: http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/.
As part of its project: "REDD financing, Human Rights and Economic Development for Sustainable Poverty Reduction of forest communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)", Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), and its local partners in the DRC have published the first volume of a new book series titled Forêts Africaines.
In July and August 2012, three civil society organisations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - Actions pour les Droits, l'Environnement et la Vie (ADEV), the Centre d’Accompagnement des Autochtones Pygmées et Minoritaires Vulnérables (CAMV), and Cercle pour la défense de l'environnement (CEDEN) - organised a series of legal workshops in collaboration with the Forest Peoples Programme and with financial assistance from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). The workshops sought to reinforce the legal capacity of these organisations and to promote a better understanding of indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ rights to land and natural resources and of the mechanisms to advocate for and defend the rights of communities in the REDD+ process in the DRC.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has recently submitted its Readiness Preparation Proposal for REDD (R-PP) to the World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). Considering that a successful outcome relies on ensuring effective participation by forest communities, indigenous peoples and civil society across the vast extent of the DRC's rainforest, this briefing asks: has the DRC followed best practice in this respect, as a UN agency is now claiming?
Read the Briefing by Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), Centre d'accompagnement des Autochtones Pygmées et Minoritaires Vulnérables (CAMV) and Cercle pour la Défense de l'Environnement (CEDEN).