Community forests in the Congo Basin: Few key challenges and available lessons Par Dr. Albert K. Barume   Paper presented ...
Making a community <ul><li>Forest as a whole : Source of income, cultural and social base </li></ul><ul><li>Forests owners...
Making a community (2) <ul><li>l’Article 28 du Décret du 23 aout 1995  (Cameroun): association, coopérative, groupe d’init...
Making a community (3) <ul><li>Elites take control of most community forests </li></ul><ul><li>DRC: Constitution enshrines...
II. Dynamique terminologie <ul><li>Community forest: A formally attributed piece of forest to community by governments (Ca...
III. Surface area of community forests <ul><li>Pre determination of CF’s maximum surface areas is almost general in the Co...
Surface  area of community forest (2) <ul><li>Participatory numeric mapping as tool to guarantee other stakeholders’ right...
IV. Long, complex and costly procedures <ul><li>Sensitization meetings, letters of intentions, production of management pl...
V.Redress of historical legal injustice suffered by some communities <ul><li>Colonial and post colonial States: visible la...
VI.Others natural resources on and underneath community forests <ul><li>Forest rights of communities do not include rights...
VII. Multiple usages <ul><li>Most Congo Basin forest legislations on CF focuses on exploitaton of timber products (Gabon, ...
<ul><li>Thank you for your attention  </li></ul>Paper presented at the conference on Taking stock of smallholders and comm...
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Community forests in the Congo basin: Few key challenges and available lessons

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Dr. Albert K. Barume

Presentation for the conference on
Taking stock of smallholders and community forestry
Montpellier France
March 24-26, 2010

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Community forests in the Congo basin: Few key challenges and available lessons

  1. 1. Community forests in the Congo Basin: Few key challenges and available lessons Par Dr. Albert K. Barume Paper presented at the conference on Taking stock of smallholders and community forest,Montpellier/France, 24-26 March 2010
  2. 2. Making a community <ul><li>Forest as a whole : Source of income, cultural and social base </li></ul><ul><li>Forests ownership : The deads, the living and those yet to be born </li></ul><ul><li>Community : cultural unit, not man made, common history and common cultural heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Societies : agregates of individuals, man made, </li></ul>Paper presented at the conference on Taking stock of smallholders and community forest,Montpellier/France, 24-26 March 2010
  3. 3. Making a community (2) <ul><li>l’Article 28 du Décret du 23 aout 1995 (Cameroun): association, coopérative, groupe d’initiative commune ou groupe d’intérêt économique (loi de 1990 sur la liberté d’association) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ communauté villageoise’: not defined, agrgate of individuals often culturally unrelated pushed to live alongside raods for colonial purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Some community forests managed by individuals culturally unrelated to the forests </li></ul><ul><li>Gabon : geographical entities (village, canton) </li></ul>Paper presented at the conference on Taking stock of smallholders and community forest,Montpellier/France, 24-26 March 2010
  4. 4. Making a community (3) <ul><li>Elites take control of most community forests </li></ul><ul><li>DRC: Constitution enshrines the right to collective ownership deriving from customary law </li></ul><ul><li>The 2002 DRC forest code defines a ‘community’ as people traditionnally organised with a common cultural tie to a given land called ‘terroir coutumier’ </li></ul>Paper presented at the conference on Taking stock of smallholders and community forest,Montpellier/France, 24-26 March 2010
  5. 5. II. Dynamique terminologie <ul><li>Community forest: A formally attributed piece of forest to community by governments (Cameroon, Gabon) </li></ul><ul><li>Forêts des communautés locales (DRC): Forest customarily possessed by a community </li></ul><ul><li>Concessions des communautés locales (DRC) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of a customarily possessed forest, which is formally granted to a community as a concession by the government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different from concession for industrial loggers (pre existing customary rights, collective aspect, not focussed on timber products </li></ul></ul>Paper presented at the conference on Taking stock of smallholders and community forest,Montpellier/France, 24-26 March 2010
  6. 6. III. Surface area of community forests <ul><li>Pre determination of CF’s maximum surface areas is almost general in the Congo Basin (Cameroun 5,000 ha) </li></ul><ul><li>If CF should cover communities’ sacred sites, cemeteries, initiations spaces, collecting areas, hunting zones, areas for economic and social activities,etc can anyone else possibly pre identify such areas? </li></ul><ul><li>Auto identification as community and auto identification of its customarily possessed or occupied forests : Best way forward? </li></ul><ul><li>Socio-cultural delimitation by identifying all the different spaces that constitute a CF </li></ul>Paper presented at the conference on Taking stock of smallholders and community forest,Montpellier/France, 24-26 March 2010
  7. 7. Surface area of community forest (2) <ul><li>Participatory numeric mapping as tool to guarantee other stakeholders’ rights and interests </li></ul><ul><li>DRC: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>tempted to determine a maximum CF surface area: debate still on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>its forest code uses the words ‘ all ’ or ‘ part ’ of the forests customarily possessed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>idea of two maps (forêt de communauté locale and concession forestière de communauté locale) </li></ul></ul>Paper presented at the conference on Taking stock of smallholders and community forest,Montpellier/France, 24-26 March 2010
  8. 8. IV. Long, complex and costly procedures <ul><li>Sensitization meetings, letters of intentions, production of management plans and tools, formal registration as group or association, signing of agreements with governments, constitution of dossiers, etc </li></ul><ul><li>1,5 to 5 years in Cameroon (see analysis of 10 years forest reforms) </li></ul><ul><li>Between 2.800 and 32.000 US$: (see analysis of 10 years forest reforms) </li></ul><ul><li>Procedures centralised in capitals or capital cities of provinces: inaccessibility for remote communities in vast countries such as RDC with vast provinces of over 500,000km2 </li></ul>Paper presented at the conference on Taking stock of smallholders and community forest,Montpellier/France, 24-26 March 2010
  9. 9. V.Redress of historical legal injustice suffered by some communities <ul><li>Colonial and post colonial States: visible land and forest traditonal occupation or use (houses, crops, livestock, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Theory of terra nullius deriving from a 19th century doctrine by which uncivilised tribes had no right to occupy a territory </li></ul><ul><li>Pygmies indigenous peoples, number between 250.000 and 350.000 in the Congo Basin: Used and occupied forests invisibly </li></ul><ul><li>Their lands and forests appear as unoccupied and therefore given to others or fall within public lands </li></ul><ul><li>Hunting and gathering are stereotyped, considered as uncivilised, wasteful and against development </li></ul><ul><li>Hunting criminalised in other countries: poachers on their own ancestral forests </li></ul><ul><li>Congo B draft law and Inspection Panel of the World Bank in DRC </li></ul>Paper presented at the conference on Taking stock of smallholders and community forest,Montpellier/France, 24-26 March 2010
  10. 10. VI.Others natural resources on and underneath community forests <ul><li>Forest rights of communities do not include rights over other natural resource in almost all Congo Basin countries (mining, oil, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Forest rights are even distinguished from rights over land (Gabon, DRC, Cameroon) </li></ul><ul><li>Cases of CF over privately owned lands </li></ul><ul><li>Cases of oil or mining concessions over forest concessions (cobalt in Cameron, Gabon) </li></ul><ul><li>Often mining and oil are prioritised </li></ul><ul><li>Need for harmonisation and use of FPIC </li></ul>Paper presented at the conference on Taking stock of smallholders and community forest,Montpellier/France, 24-26 March 2010
  11. 11. VII. Multiple usages <ul><li>Most Congo Basin forest legislations on CF focuses on exploitaton of timber products (Gabon, Cameroon,) </li></ul><ul><li>In DRC communities are already using their traditional forests for gorilla conservation and one has just got into a carbone selling agreement with a private investor </li></ul><ul><li>Need to conceptualise ‘ Communitarian forest exploitation’, to be distinguished from ‘industrial forest exploitation’ and ‘artisanal forest exploitation’: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communitarian exploitation: provides for collective rights, on forest customarily owned, provides space for economical, social and cultural needs, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industrial and artisanal exploitation: provide for individual rights, can be on any forest and for timber product mostly </li></ul></ul>Paper presented at the conference on Taking stock of smallholders and community forest,Montpellier/France, 24-26 March 2010
  12. 12. <ul><li>Thank you for your attention </li></ul>Paper presented at the conference on Taking stock of smallholders and community forest,Montpellier/France, 24-26 March 2010

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