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Collaborative Congo Basin project on Independent Forest Monitoring launches in Kinshasa

A new €6.25m project, funded by the European Union and managed by the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT, University of Wolverhampton), was launched in Kinshasa, DRC, on Wednesday 26th April 2017. Over 4 years the project aims to strengthen the contribution of non-state actors, civil society, indigenous peoples and community organisations to improving forest governance, sustainable forest management and the contribution of forests to development in five Congo Basin countries. The project will benefit 75 million poor men, women and young people living in forest dependent areas in the Congo Basin, which is home to the second largest tropical rain-forested area in the world. The aim is to work in partnership with local organisations and communities to ensure private sector companies are working within their contracts and operating within national timber regulations governing deforestation and legal exports. The project will also empower communities to monitor activities on the ground, ensuring social agreements are met. To achieve this, the project brings together leading organisations in Independent Forest Monitoring from five countries across the Congo Basin region: In Cameroon (Centre pour l’Environnement et le Développement (CED) and Forêts et Développement Rural (FODER) - Central African Republic (Centre pour l’Information Environnementale et le Développement Durable (CIEDD) - Republic of Congo - Cercle d’Appui à la Gestion Durable des Forêts (CADGF) - Gabon (Brainforest) and Democratic Republic of Congo (Observatoire de la Gouvernance Forestière (OGF). In addition the Field Legality Advisory Group (FLAG) will work regionally with all partners to provide technical assistance and capacity strengthening, whilst international partner World Resources Institute (WRI) will work with national partners to compile, analyse and publish all independent monitoring observations and reports via their Global Forest Watch and Open Timber portal online platforms to reach private sector companies for due diligence and competent authorities in Europe in charge of implementing European Timber Regulation. Lead partner CIDT from the University of Wolverhampton in the UK bring significant experience of working in communities on forest governance projects in the West and Central Africa. They will spend time in the Congo Basin working with partners in the country, sharing their expertise and knowledge to build capacity.

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