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Independent Monitoring of Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (IM-FLEG) in support of FLEGT VPAs in the Congo Basin

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Following 45 months of Independent Monitoring in the Republic of Congo, a new phase of IM-FLEG is being implemented since December 2010 by Forests Monitor in partnership with REM and CAGDF – a Congolese NGO established by the shadow team trained by FM and REM during the previous phase.

The 3-year-project Independent Monitoring of Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (IMFLEG), in support of the FLEGT Volontary Partnership Agreements in the Congo Basin to reduce illegal logging, aims at contributing further to transparency and governance improvement in the Congo Basin forest sector.

The current phase of the project focuses on transferring IM-FLEG skills to civil society and strengthening its role within FLEGT VPA implementation. The specific objectives are 1) implementation of IMFLEG in RoC by civil society and 2) increase Congo Basin Civil Society Organisations’ capacity to participate in the negotiation or implementation of FLEGT VPAs through the development of IM-FLEG mechanisms.

To achieve those objectives, the project will provide further training and capacity building of civil society both at a national and sub-regional scale.

The project also continues the implementation of Independent Monitoring activities and provision of recommendations to the forest administration to improve forest law enforcement and governance.

The main activities of the project are the following:

  • Independent Monitoring of Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (IM-FLEG) in the Republic of Congo, to systematically document infractions in forest sector activities and analyse gaps in forest law enforcement. IM-FLEG is implemented through field missions, analysis of administrative processes, and multi-stakeholder meetings. Provide recommendations to improve the efficiency of forest law enforcement and promote reform in the forest sector in the Congo Basin region.
  • Training work sessions, to produce joint outputs with civil society representatives, national work sessions in target countries , and continued training of CAGDF team in the Republic of Congo
  • Missions in the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon to undertake IM-FLEG activities
  • Publication of IM-FLEG reports, training outputs and mission findings

What we aim to achieve In the Republic of Congo

  • IM-FLEG is undertaken by local experts/civil society representatives
  • Information on illegal logging activities and gaps in State control is available
  • The strategic deployment of the law enforcement services is improved
  • Documentation of illegal logging by forest law enforcement services is improved
  • Actions are taken on cases of illegal activities in the Forest Sector, sanctions paid
  • Transparency in administrative processes of forest law enforcement is increased
  • Sustainability of the legal, institutional and political reform process currently ongoing in the forests sector is ensured

In the Congo basin

  • Civil society implementation of IM-FLEG missions and reports diffused
  • Civil society participation in and understanding of regional processes concerning illegal logging is increased
  • Link established between external monitoring, IM-FLEG missions and VPA
  • Sustainability of the reform process in the forests sector in the region is ensured
  • Information about the forest sector is available to the public

Partners

REM's main partners in the project are: Forests Monitor (FM) and CAGDF. FM and REM work in close collaboration on technical as well as strategic aspects of the project, such as the realisation of scoping missions to develop new IM-FLEG projects in the Congo Basin. FM’s main focus however, is on the civil society training component of the project. CAGDF participates actively to IM-FLEG activities and work sessions

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This project is implemented with financial assistance from the European Union, for an amount of 1,598,121 Euros, and the Department for International Development, for an amount of 400,000 Euros. Its content is the sole responsibility of REM, and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the EU or DfID.