NewsDRC : Deputy PM for Environment and Sustainable Development, CAFI and France via AFD launch the Sustainable Forest Management Programme

CAFI news picture 6DEC 22launch the Sustainable Forest Management Programme

CAFI - Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (December 6, 2022) – The Sustainable Forest Management Programme (Programme de Gestion Durable des Forêts in French, or PGDF) was officially launched in DRC yesterday.

It was launched by H.E. the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Environment and Sustainable Development Ms Eve Bazaiba in the presence of H.E. the French Ambassador Mr Bruno Aubert, Mr Lars Leymann, Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy on behalf of the Presidency of the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) and Ms Safia Ibrahim-Netter, Director of the French Development Agency (AFD) in the DRC. The programme, which aims to improve the governance of the forestry sector, features a main objective to support the definition of the DRC's forest policy based on broad consultations with stakeholders in the sector.

Comprising numerous objectives in terms of forestry, the PGDF aims to enable the country to manage forest resources sustainably through an inclusive process, particularly via the revitalisation of the National Advisory Council on Forests. It primarily intends to improve forest governance through the promotion of sustainable management methods for forest resources.

The CAFI Executive Board approved the programme in December 2019. The official signing of the PGDF took place in August 2022 as part of the grant agreement between AFD and the DRC Government.

H.E. the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Environment and Sustainable Development Ms Eve Bazaiba is fully invested in the progress of the programme, and recalled that: “...the forests of the DRC cover an area estimated at 155 million hectares, representing around 60% of the national territory and 10% of the world's tropical forests…this programme will also allow us to accelerate reforms on the protection, sustainable management and development of our forest resources.”

H.E. Mr Bruno Aubert, Ambassador of France to the DRC, added: “France intends to support the visibility and importance of the Congo Basin forests. I welcome the revitalisation of the National Forest Advisory Council (Conseil national consultatif in French), an inclusive body.”

According to Mr. Lars Leymann, Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy who chairs the CAFI until 2023, “All partners stand beside the government of DRC so that the policies and measures necessary to improve forest governance can make significant progress as from the first half of 2023, in accordance with the expressed wishes of H.E. President Felix Tshisekedi.”

The AFD, implementing partner for the PGDF, was represented by its Director in the DRC, Ms Safia Ibrahim-Netter, who declared: “We are proud of the commitment demonstrated by the DRC, which aims to find real solutions to sustainable development together, with all local actors and with all stakeholders.”

The next step for the PGDF is to help the Government develop a forest policy that involves all local actors, including the public and private sectors as well as civil society. The ambitious timetable aims to formally adopt such a policy within six months.

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