The expansion of commercial agriculture in the Congo Basin, especially for palm oil, poses great risks to forests and the people who depend on them for their livelihoods and culture. While efforts to make palm oil more ‘sustainable’ focus on avoiding deforestation and biodiversity loss, far less attention has been paid to land rights and social impacts.
International standards for agri-business, such as those created by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), seem to be ill-adapted to the African context. Community mapping in the Congo Basin shows how the social impacts of agri-business are already being felt, while providing an invaluable tool to tackle these threats head-on.
Research carried out by the Rainforest Foundation UK and its partner organisations found that industrial palm oil and rubber plantations in Africa’s Congo Basin continue to disrespect human rights and destroy large swathes of rainforests.View Online Download PDF
In 2018, RFUK launched a new participatory mapping and land-use planning project in Maniema province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It aims to develop a community-driven model that will inform land-use planning at the local and national level, serving as an example for a more sustainable and equitable approach to land management.View Online Download PDF
If well implemented, new community forest legislation in the DRC offers an unprecedented opportunity for communities to obtain legal rights to forests they have inhabited for generations and to improve their livelihoods. However, for community forests to deliver equitable and sustainable outcomes there is a need to ensure that they are developed by the communities themselves, to truly address their needs and priorities.View Online Download PDF
Since its creation, ForestLink has been successfully deployed as part of RFUK’s Real-Time Forest Monitoring (RTM) initiative in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana and Peru. By engaging forest and indigenous peoples in the fight against illegal logging and deforestation, RTM seeks to strengthen local involvement in forest management.View Online Download PDF