In July 2013, REM completed a handover of all its field activities and offices to 3 African CSOs we helped create; FLAG in Cameroon, CAGDF in Republic of Congo and OGF in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These relatively new organisations are composed of staff and experts trained by REM over several years of operation.
The approach of Independent Monitoring of Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (IM-FLEG) developed considerably in recent years and this is in part due to the training and practical tools provided by REM through past projects to Civil Society Organisations in Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and also in DRC, Gabon and CAR. Given this increase in capacity, REM removed itself as the lead organisation in the sector to allow this new capacity to continue to develop and take on more responsibility. REM’s role since became one of technical support and provision of strategic guidance in the development of new projects in the Congo Basin.
With the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) now in effect and a number of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) signed and progressing through negotiations, both producer countries and EU based enforcement agencies have an increasing need for reliable and accurate information. With this is mind REM continued to provide strategic guidance and technical support at a distance to regional and national partners which have taken over the Independent Monitoring role. The objective was to ensure a smooth transition of responsibility to local organisations and to not diminish the flow of reliable information to the broad range of stakeholders that require it.
To date, we continue this collaboration through various programmes while enabling increased independence and consolidation of our African partners.