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Research Report

The context of REDD+ in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Drivers, agents and institutions

Augustin M. Mpoyi
Floribert B. Nyamwoga
Felicien M. Kabamba
Samuel Assembe-Mvondo
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2013
Pages: 73
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-2)

    This review of the conditions in which the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism is being established in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is part of Component 1 of the Global Comparative Study on REDD+ (known as GCS-REDD) being conducted by the Center for International Forestry Research. This global study was produced to provide decision-makers, practitioners, donors and the scientific community with reliable information on the dynamics of national actions related to the REDD+ mechanism. Discussions on REDD originally seemed to focus mainly on the construction of a global structure and the establishment of a...

  2. (pp. 3-16)

    The question of the drivers and dynamics of deforestation and forest degradation is central to the REDD global process (Kanninen et al. 2007), especially in DRC. The stakeholders recognise the analytical framework taken from Geist and Lambin (2001) as an identification list of the direct and underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation. But no systematic scientific study seems to be available to evaluate the relative importance of the various causes at the national or landscape level. The development of a national consensus on the relative importance of deforestation drivers is a major concern which REDD process implementers feel will...

  3. (pp. 17-32)

    The assimilation of the REDD+ international mechanism requires a national institutional framework that is innovative and adapted to many stakes and challenges (Wertz-Kanounnikoff and Angelsen 2010) such as coordinated sectoral policies and legal frameworks that, in particular, clarify land and carbon rights. It also requires national measures to strengthen governance (especially forest governance) and the fight against corruption. Systems are needed to ensure well-targeted, equitable distribution of benefits that may be generated by the REDD+ mechanism. This does not only require political reforms but also the creation and/or strengthening of REDD+ institutional and technical capacities (UN-REDD 2011).

    Poor governance seems...

  4. (pp. 33-40)

    The political economy of deforestation and forest degradation of DRC feeds on the favourable politico-economic context, sectorial policies incompatible with the goals of sustainable development and the international market’s appeal and pressure.

    As mentioned in the preceding section, the DRC population is composed mainly of forest people: 90% of the people live in the forests or in neighbouring areas formerly covered with forests that have been cleared to make room for urban development, e.g., major cities like Kinshasa and Kisangani. The traditional living conditions that still exist now depend heavily on the forest. The 2007 NAPA reports that peasant agriculture...

  5. (pp. 41-50)

    REDD+ seems to have created an unprecedented problem in DRC, the problem of reconciling the interests and opinions of the various Congolese actors by capitalising their capacities to find their right position in the interactions specific to the complicated REDD+ institutional mechanisms in order to successfully meet the many challenges.

    Since January 2009 when it was launched in DRC, REDD+ has attracted four groups of actors with different levels of influence. REDD+ is a multi-actor process under the watchful eye of the international community that involves internal and external expertise in many fields. It has a rather unique institutional structure...

  6. (pp. 51-54)

    An analytical look at the socio-economic dynamics of deforestation in DRC points to major institutional weaknesses as the main factors underlying the loss of the national forest cover. These weaknesses can be divided under three main headings: i) an energy model that gives too little weight to the enormous national potential for hydroelectricity and other forms of renewable energy, thus ignoring this vital forest-dependent sector; ii) insufficient supervision for the local communities’ subsistence activities since the rural economy gravitates around land use activities, especially agriculture and artisanal firewood production and mining; and iii) too little regulation, which means insufficient application...

  7. (pp. 55-55)

    Although DRC has the second greatest tropical forest potential in the world, second only to Brazil, and thus could contribute to global efforts to alleviate the harmful effects attributed to climate change, and although DRC has already made halting progress in establishing the REDD+ mechanism nationally (R-PP, FIP, REDD national coordination working group, etc.), the REDD+ profile in DRC is marred by several shortcomings, and the State institutions have some pronounced structural weaknesses: poor governance; almost total lack of government authority in certain regions of the country; insufficient national capacity to launch sectoral policy reforms compliant with REDD+ requirements; and...