News / 16 April 2008

Political Cafe forest management in the Congo big success

Both ENDS' Political Cafe on forest management in the Congo, held on May 6, brought together two of Both ENDS' Congolese partners, Adolphine Muley (UEFA) and Alphonse Valivambene (Réseau CREF) with representatives from the World Bank, the European Commission, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


The debate was opened with Petna Ndaliko Katondolo's film, Walking Tree, which gave local communities a voice, and highlighted the social, economic and ecological problems surrounding Congolese forest management. The film clearly shows that there are fewer and fewer trees in the rainforest near Beni, in East Congo. One of the repercussions of this is that women have to make increasingly longer trips to find fire wood. Click here to see the film.

The cafe debate was focused on finding a way to turn the Congo's forests into a source of development rather than a source of conflict. Three important conditions arose:

  • the Congolese government and organised civil society need support so that they can carry out their supervisory functions
  • the participation of local communities in forest policy should be ensured
  • all forest management projects should be transparent and open

The World Bank has said that it would like to involve local communities more in its Congolese forest management policy. Both ENDS, along with its partners in the South, will keep monitoring the progress, because sustainable peace will only be possible when the Congolese inhabitants of the rain forest really have a voice, as well as guaranteed access to the rain forest.

Would you like to find out more about the expert meeting and the cafe? Click here for the report. If you'd like to read more about forest management in the DRC, click here for Both ENDS' Policy Note: Sustainable Forestry in the DRC: the way out of poverty and conflict.


Read more about this subject