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DRC : Indicators

2011 > 20 Key Indicators > Legal Recognition of Customary and Traditional Rights

The Forest Code only recognises community user rights: it prioritises written law over customary law. Indeed, the Forest Code recognises local and indigenous communities’ customary and traditional user rights, but it also establishes State ownership of forests. Decree 023 on contractual obligations under social agreements also grants communities the right to share in profits resulting from the exploitation of their forests. Furthermore, the draft text on local communities’ forests recognises the right of communities to request forest ownership from the State.

Only those people that can use communication technologies have access to information and decisions on the issue. The majority of the forest people do not have access to the norms, which have not been translated into local or national languages (apart from French). The recognition of customary rights is hampered by the absence of a written version of such rights, which prevents a conflict with positive law, as well as by a lack of consultation with forest communities during the drafting of regulations. The lack of a process of micro-zoning and development of maps which detail customary rights is one further obstacle.

Title a. Law No. 011/2002 of 29 August 2002 Forest Code, articles 22, 36, 44 and 89
b. Ministerial Decree No. 023/CAB/ECN-T/28 / JEB/10 / of 7 June 2010 setting out the template social agreement in the contract of forestry concessions
Organisation Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Tourism
Date a. 29 August 2002
b. 7 June 2010
Source Office of the Secretary General for Environment and Conservation
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