Center for Environmental Information and Sustainable Development (CIEDD), CAR
This project aims to provide support to the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and local communities (LCs) as well as youth, and women in the Equateur Region (Region 2) of CAR for the recognition of their community land rights, promotion of community conservation activities, and their participation in national-level reform processes. These reforms include climate change policies through legislation and existing government initiatives on Participatory Forestry, local development plans and forest landscape restoratio.
CAR’s IPs and LCs live in extreme poverty because a vast majority have lost their livestock and lands and live as displaced populations due to illegal logging and the political and economic crises that have plagued the country for years. These crises have led many communities to abandon their lands and without their traditional means of subsistence. In recent years, the government has regained constitutional order and made its return to international agreements on climate change and forests. It has also implemented some sectoral policy and legal reforms, notably on agropastoral land tenure, land tenure, and forestry.
However, CAR’s forestry and agricultural policies remain largely unknown to the communities they impact. And despite its return to constitutional order and renewed place in the various international and regional processes, its Indigenous and local communities, particularly youth and women, lack involvement in these processes or the tools to defend their rights and guarantee their own livelihoods.
The project will take place in Region No. 2, Equateur Region, CAR, which is predominantly inhabited by Bantu communities but also has a large proportion of Indigenous Ba’aka and Peuhl forest populations. It will be coordinated by the Center for Environmental Information and Sustainable Development (CIEDD), a major actor in the promotion and protection of IP rights at national and international levels, in collaboration with the NGOs MEFP, REPALEAC, and GEN-RCA, and local organizations.
The project aims to help secure at least 3,000 hectares of land for its target communities. It will also help communities who wish to relocate to their villages move back and help them rebuild their lives and agricultural livelihoods in peaceful co-existence with other local communities. It will begin by mapping its implementation areas, conducting consultations to identify land rights issues, community dynamics, and existing initiatives and processes. Another study will identify livelihood needs and propose solutions, and a third one will focus on current reforms, actors, targets, and trends. Based on the findings of these studies, the project team and partners will develop an implementation and advocacy plan.
The project aims to help secure at least 3,000 hectares of land for its target communities. It will also help communities who wish to relocate to their villages move back and help them rebuild their lives and agricultural livelihoods in peaceful co-existence with other local communities.
The project will work with community relays in sub-prefectures to cover the communes and villages, and will also benefit from its collaborators, MEFP, REPALEAC, and GEN-RCA's expertise and proximity to the communities. It will also prioritize the inclusion and participation of women through GEN-RCA's expertise in mobilizing women for empowerment and leadership development.