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Lessons Learnt

Reform of the forest sector has been under way since 2002. This has involved a moratorium on forest concessions, legal review of forest titles and the signature of new forest concession contracts. In practice, over the last decade there have been gaps in decision-making and implementation, which calls into question the efforts taken. The reforms appear to have had only mixed results.

The activities carried out by RRN for Making the Forest Sector Transparent have helped to strengthen the capacity of its members in Kinshasa and four forest provinces – Bandundu, Equateur, Orientale and Nord Kivu. In particular, support for the signature of social agreements between companies and communities, including an appeal lodged before the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation of Nature and Tourism (MECNT), and the publication of the 2011 Report Card have enabled civil society, the private sector and the government authorities to establish a clearer picture of the level of transparency in the forest sector.

It has proven difficult to make the principles of good forest governance effective in practice due to the poor functioning of State decision-making at the levels of the central government and the provinces. There is a lack of accountability and a refusal to make certain documents on the forest sector public. Communities continue to await tangible changes in the stewardship of forest resources to improve their living conditions.

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