Over 60 community representatives have recently been selected in Ghana, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to act as independent monitors in the fight against illegal logging.
Participating communities have expressed their desire to fight the scourge of illegal logging, which constantly affects their environment and their livelihoods. Each community has chosen representative leaders and observers to carry the project forward. Our local partners, FoE-Gh, FODER and GASHE, are now training those leaders to make them aware of forest laws and community rights in their respective countries.
“This training will allow us to better protect our forests and our homes,” said Marie Jeanne Mankouane, community member in Ampel village, Cameroon. “Before, loggers took advantage of our ignorance to deceive us. Now we know our rights and our community has a voice.”
Participating communities supported in their advocacy efforts
Following initial training of community leaders and monitors on forest law and independent monitoring, communities expressed the need for support in their advocacy initiatives.
Our implementing partners are supporting communities to identify their advocacy priorities, develop strategies and facilitate local representation in decision-making processes.
This will enable local communities to contribute to forest management and to better defend their interests in the face of logging projects and other extractive industries which might threaten their livelihoods.
“This is a good project because our denunciations are no longer blocked, and we will defend our rights,” said one community representative in Cameroon. Another community spokesperson explained why the project has elicited such enthusiasm: “In the past we have been totally excluded from decisions about our forests. But this project will help us to finally make our voices heard.”