Accepted paper:

Carrot and stick: linking civil society and law enforcement for improving benefit sharing in forests

Authors:

Aurelian Mbzibain (University Of Wolverhampton)
Richard Nyirenda (University of Wolverhampton)

Paper short abstract:

This paper argues for a parallel capacity strengthening for civil society organisations in their roles and stronger engagement of so far neglected or under represented forest law enforcement actors to enhance equitable access by forest dependent communities to forest sector benefits and resources.

Paper long abstract:

Systemic corruption, the lack of political will, illegal logging, forest degradation and deforestation from illegal forest conversion - present significant challenges to sustainable forest management, the fight against climate change, inclusive economic development and improvement of the livelihoods of forest dependent communities in the Congo Basin. Since the development of its Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan in 2003 by the European Union and subsequent engagements made by Congo Basin timber producing countries to stem illegal logging and related trade, there is little evidence of improvements in forest governance and benefits for forest dependent communities. While the role of civil society is widely acknowledged, over a decade of engagement of civil society organisations to monitor forest governance and advocate for change have not led to demonstrable improvements for forest dependent communities. This paper argues for a parallel capacity strengthening for civil society organisations in their roles and stronger engagement of so far neglected or under represented forest law actors including the judiciary, law makers and media in national forest governance processes in the Congo Basin.

panel A01
The role of civil society in addressing inequalities in developing countries (Paper)