Project to strengthen the participation of women in the reform of the forestry legislative framework in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Véronique BULAYA
Posted July 18, 2019 from Democratic Republic of the Congo

Background and justification of the project

The Democratic Republic of Congo has significant forest resources potentially capable of boosting its socio-economic development.

However, as a prelude to the process of putting in place a new (revised) forest sector legislative framework in the DRC, DRC's forest ecosystems are seriously threatened by population pressure and human activities such as agricultural activities, agriculture and forestry. mining, unsustainable logging as part of the search for firewood, artisanal wood, timber, etc. The existence of fraudulent logging networks interconnected with commercial operators (forest tree species) from foreign countries is an important fact. This illegal logging is a major challenge in establishing and maintaining efficient markets and sustainable logging practices in a global economy that requires more and more assurances about the legal and sustainable production of timber and timber products. . Illegal behavior in the farm sector is leading to a shortfall for governments, missed opportunities for industrial development, and worsening environmental damage and social problems. The revision of the legislative and regulatory framework for the management and exploitation of forests is a high political priority, and receives support from international partners for the next four years (new forestry policy, new forest code and implementing decrees). One of the main challenges of this reform will be to provide a socially equitable and ecologically relevant framework for forest conversion dynamics, which are currently rapidly expanding in the country without being properly regulated. All stakeholders must therefore be involved: civil society including local communities, timber SMEs, decentralized territorial entities (ETDs), etc. In this regard, women in the DRC, because of the specific social roles assigned to them by local communities and the discrimination they face, have very low participation in forest decision-making bodies.

It is in this context that PIFEVA opts to strengthen the participation of women from different stakeholders in ongoing initiatives for the adoption of a new legislative framework on forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This participation will facilitate the consideration and integration of strategic economic and community alternatives proposed by women to contribute to the fight against illegal logging in the DRC. An inclusive and gender-sensitive forest reform is the driving force behind a system of good forest governance, sustainable management of forest resources and socio-economic development of the DRC.

The actions proposed under this project will be sustained through the maintenance of awareness / popularization of gender-sensitive innovations integrated into the new forest law framework by women empowered as well as by the gender and forest reform coalition in the DRC.

Objective of the project

Contribute to capacity building for active and qualitative participation of women in ongoing initiatives for the adoption of a new forest law framework in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Results achieved

744 women from civil society, including local communities, SMEs in the timber sector and decentralized territorial entities (ETDs) are being strengthened in capacity, actively and qualitatively participating in the ongoing initiatives for adoption of a new legislative framework on forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of December 2018:

a) women's engagement in identifying the factors and causes of poor forest governance is strengthened; b) actors of illegal logging and their socio-economic profile in the traceability of the illegal timber trade and its derivatives are identified and analyzed by women; c) Priorities in terms of wood needs (wood energy, timber, lumber, commercial wood) are identified and specified by women; (d) gender-sensitive forest management strategies and policies are formulated and proposed by women at the national level; (e) A new gender-sensitive legislative framework on forests is being adopted in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which contributes to promoting better forest governance, enhancing opportunities for more sustainable livelihoods and integrating markets in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Main activities of the project

1) Organize a national workshop of participatory analysis of women on forest governance in the DRC; 2) Support the organization of participatory analysis sessions on forest governance by women (participants) in their respective provinces in the DRC; 3) Organize a national capacity-building workshop for women leaders of civil society and local communities on gender-sensitive forest reform in the DRC; 4) Organize a national workshop to build the capacity of women SMEs in the timber sector on gender-sensitive forest reform in the DRC; 5) Organize a national workshop on women's empowerment ETDs on gender-sensitive forest reform in the DRC; 6) Facilitate the establishment of a "National Gender and Forest Reform Coalition in the DRC" for mainstreaming / mainstreaming the gender dimension in the forest reform process in the DRC; 7) Facilitate the organization of meetings of the "National Gender and Forest Reform Coalition in the DRC" for the harmonization and coordination of strategies to strengthen the participation of women in initiatives for the adoption of a new forestry legislative framework in the DRC; 8) Carry out advocacy actions to strengthen the participation of women in stakeholders in initiatives for the adoption of a new forest law framework in the DRC; 9) Support the active participation of the delegates of the "National Coalition for Gender and Forest Reform in the DRC" in the work / consultations / workshops initiated at the national level in the context of forest reform in the DRC; 10) Organize broadcast radio broadcasts of gender-sensitive innovations integrated into the new forest law framework in the DRC; 11) Monitoring and evaluation of project activities.

Gender and youthThis project promotes environmental justice for women in the DRC. It will ensure that aspects of gender equality achieve the expected results (poverty reduction, reduction of negative impacts on the environment, promotion of better forest governance, enhancement of opportunities for livelihoods more sustainable and market integration) in the DRC. Emphasis will be placed on building the capacity of women leaders in the implementation of the project. Thus, this project will particularly strengthen the participation of local women leaders in DRC forest policy evaluation, formulation and review exercises to take into account the differences and similarities between men and women in the use of resources. forest. It will also strengthen women's capacity to participate in decision-making processes (facilitating access to decision-making bodies through the provision of ad-hoc support services, such as awareness raising, capacity building, etc.). It will ensure that women are really involved as members of consulted stakeholders in the drafting of the DRC's national forest laws and regulations.

Comments 4

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Jill Langhus
Jul 18, 2019
Jul 18, 2019

Hi Véronique,

This project sounds like a great initiative, too. Are you involved with this one as well? When do you find out if it will be implemented? It sounds like it would be empowering for women and help the environment at the same time:-) Please keep us posted on how it progresses, dear. Thank you!

Tamarack Verrall
Jul 19, 2019
Jul 19, 2019

Hello Veronique,
This is powerful and wonderful news! An enormous congratulations to all who have worked to bring women's voices into the decision-making on how to turn around an economy that was causing destruction and poverty, to a sustainable plan. This is what we need globally: the voices of women to be front and centre with priorities of a sustainable environment, and an economy that benefits everyone. Your news is inspiring. We all need to look at how our countries are affecting each others'. I know that my country is part of the problem.
In sisterhood,

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Jul 29, 2019
Jul 29, 2019

Hello, Veronique,

Congratulations for strenthening 744 women to be forest protectors! This is really a wonderful initiative.

Please keep us posted. Thank you for sharing!

Urmila Chanam
Aug 21, 2019
Aug 21, 2019

Dear Veronique,

Your article is an eye opener for me to learn about forest governance, the need to involve women in shaping legslative frameworks. I am an enthusiast of agriculture, horticulture and rural development in India and undertake media fellowships to travel to do stories in these areas. Many a times, my work involves interface with forest and your article comes as a great input to me. If you may share more articles with me, my e-mail is [email protected]. Keep writing.
Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam,