Congo Basin: African Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Initatives of the Rainforest Foundation

Excerpt from Rainforest Foundation website: "The alleviation of poverty has been the purported aim of many international interventions in forestry in Africa. However, the Foundation believes that international efforts to enforce existing forest laws in Africa, especially in the Congo Basin region, will not necessarily serve to reduce poverty – and indeed may be counterproductive – because the laws themselves, or the way in which they are usually implemented, are often fundamentally ‘anti-poor’...Almost without exception, little or no provision is made within the laws of Congo Basin countries for community access to forest resources. Logging concession systems in which ‘production forests’ are allocated to commercial forest enterprises have been demonstrated to actually impoverish rural communities. In the few instances where laws permit direct community benefit from forest management, most forest communities have little or no information about their rights under that law and are thus unable to exercise them...The Foundation aims to encourage the international community to promote the adoption of better laws in Congo Basin countries, such that the rights of forest communities are strengthened. We believe this will be necessary if 'African Forest Law Enforcement and Governance' is to promote achievement of the Millennium Development Goals..."

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