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Reseau Ressources Naturelles makes the forest sector transparent

6 August 2011

Réseau Ressources Naturelles (Natural Resources Network - RRN) is a platform of environmental and human rights Civil Society Organisations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its national coordination is based in Kinshasa.

Reseau Ressources Naturelles makes the forest sector transparent

RRN has 256 member organisations present in the 11 provinces of DRC. In each one it is represented by a Focal Point member CSO. Making the Forest Sector Transparent started a partnership with RRN in March 2011, working with the National Coordination Office and four Focal Points, in North Kivu, Orientale, Bandundu, and Equateur provinces.

RRN Objectives

Since its creation, RRN's general objective is to promote a rational and sustainable use of natural resources in order for them to contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of local communities and indigenous people, while preserving ecosystems and biodiversity for future generations.

In line with these objectives, RRN leads policy advocacy at national and international levels, and monitors the implementation of policies to ensure the respect of the rights, interests and traditional practices of local communities and indigenous peoples. Parallel to this watchdog role, RRN and its partners build the capacities and skills of local communities and indigenous peoples to enable them to claim their rights of access to natural resources and land. RRN also provides them when needed with legal and administrative assistance.

RRN assesses and documents the socio-economic and environmental impact of the exploitation of natural resources to promote their sustainable management to the benefit of populations, but also of climate change policies through the reduction of deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).

Experience shows that industrial-scale logging of forests benefits forest communities little, and RRN is committed to promoting alternative development initiatives to better contribute to poverty reduction.

Finally, RRN aims at strengthening the inclusion and participation of local communities and indigenous people in decision-making processes, in order to contribute to the promotion of good governance and transparency in natural resources management.

RRN's advocacy on the reform of the forest sector

The government of the DRC has been engaged in reforming the forest sector since 2002. RRN focuses its activities on advocating for sustainable forest management through:

  • the dissemination of the new forest code and its implementing measures to decision-makers, local communities and indigenous people,
  • the critical observation of the conversion process of old forest titles into forest concessions,
  • the support of forest communities in their fight for the recognition of their customary tenure rights and their use of natural resources through the promotion of the forest code regulations on social agreements in forest concession contracts,
  • the active participation into the national process to set up mechanisms for REDD.

RRN's partnerships

RRN partnerships with national and international civil society and with the Congolese government. At the national level, RRN collaborates with multiple partners and other civil society networks such as the Episcopal Commission on Natural Resources of the Catholic Church (CERN-CENCO), The Peace and Justice Commission for natural resources of the Christ Church of Congo (CERN), the National Council of Development NGOs (CNONGD), the Publish What You Pay coalition (PWYP), among others.

Since its creation in August 2002 it has established strong partnership with international NGOs, such as the Canadian African Partnership, 11.11.11, Rainforest Foundation Norway, Rainforest Foundation UK, Forests Monitor, Rights and Resources Initiative, Global Witness, Greenpeace International, and CNCD Belgium.

RRN also exchanges regularly with the Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, and Tourism (MECNT), and with other ministries whose policies impact on the environment, forests, land, and natural resources in general.

Finally, it works with international development agencies, notably GIZ, Christian Aid UK, CRID France, CCFD France, UICN Netherlands, UNEP, Well Grounded, CIDT/ Wolverhampton University(UK), FERN, FAO, Civil Society Fund for Good Governance (FSC-RDC), DUVILLA, and Both Ends.

Contact details

Réseau Resources Naturelles – Coordination Nationale
Joseph Bobia Bonkaw

Focal Points:

North Kivu:
Réseau CREF
Réseau pour la Conservation et la Réhabilitation des Ecosystèmes Forestiers
Alphonse Muhindo

Organisation Concertée des Ecologistes et Amis de la nature
Cyrille Adebu

Conseil Régionale des Organisations Non Gouvernementales de Développement
Denis Impiti

Groupe d'Action pour Sauver l'Homme et son Environnement
Julien Mathe

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Global Witness DAR CIKOD CED SDI Grupo Faro Ut'z Che RRN
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