NewsDRCongo: Tracking the milestones of the Letter of Intent
CAFI - Update of 1 April 2022 - CAFI commends the publication today of the report of the DRCongo Inspectorat Général des Finances on the legality of logging concessions operated by formal actors.
3 March 2022 : In November 2021, a landmark Letter of Intent was signed with the DRCongo with an overall objective of stabilizing and reducing forest cover loss and restoring eight million hectares of degraded lands and forests.
This agreement contains time-bound so-called “milestones”. One of them, namely the publication of the Audit report of the General Inspection of Finances (IGF), was scheduled for end 2021.
The CAFI Executive Board acknowledges the position and concerns of stakeholders who have noted that this particular milestone has not yet been met.
The DRC-CAFI Letter of Intent 2021-31 is a political agreement between the Government of DRC and the CAFI Executive Board to engage in meaningful dialogue and joint actions to improve forest governance and address the drivers of deforestation and degradation. It is on this basis of collaboration that the CAFI Executive Board and donors remain committed to continue working with DRC to ensure that the objectives and commitments outlined in the Letter of Intent are met.
To this effect, Ambassadors in the DRC and the CAFI Secretariat regularly engage with different levels of government to discuss the milestones of the Letter of Intent, including, most recently, the publication of the IGF report. Notably, the Ambassadors of the countries involved in the Inter-Donor Group on Environment and Climate in the DRC (GIBEC) met on 18 February 2022 with the DRC’s Vice Prime Minister of Environment H.E Eve Bazaiba and discussed progress towards the achievement of a number of milestones, including the IGF report publication. The Vice Prime Minister confirmed her willingness to ensure the publication of the report as soon as possible. She emphasized that the Prime Minister’s Office is following up on the matter.
At this meeting, the Vice Prime Minister also informed the Ambassadors of progress towards the revival of the National Consultative Council on Forests (CCNF in French). A consensual final version of the revised Decree of the Prime Minister establishing the CCNF was endorsed on 16 February 2022 by the stakeholders involved in the forestry sector. The Decree will soon be transmitted to the Prime Minister for signature, as envisaged in the Letter of Intent. The CCNF will provide an inclusive platform gathering a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives from the civil society, to provide recommendations to the Government on the forest governance in the DRCongo.
CAFI is following up with the Government at both a technical and a political level (i.e., the Offices of the Prime Minister, Ministries of Finance and Environment) to harness and operationalise the coordination structures and develop tools to enable the joint monitoring and tracking of progress against the milestones of the Letter of Intent.
As stipulated in section 3.1 of the Letter of Intent, a high level Consultative Forum headed by the DRCongo Head of State or Prime Minister and with Ambassadors of CAFI donor countries will convene in the first half of 2022. The monitoring tools for the Government and CAFI’s joint tracking of progress against the milestones of the Letter of Intent are being developed, and the recommendations and conclusions resulting from these tools will be used in this forum.
Originally published on www.cafi.org