Capacity building and training workshops
Improving the quality of data on illegal logging A four-day regional workshop on the Open Timber portal (OTP) was held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo in November 2017 for Independent Forest Monitors (IM), the partners of the CIDT CV4C project. The training showed participants how data management tools such as OTP (online data management system …
In December 2014, REM participated to a a training workshop on Independent Forest Monitoring organised in Vietnam by the network of Vietnamese Non-governmental organisations in Forest Law, Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VNGO-FLEGT). Ms. Vu Thi Bich Hop, Chairwoman of the Board of Management delivered the opening remark From December 09 to December 12, 2014, with …
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. …
Training government enforcement officials
REM dedicates time to analyse findings and provide recommendations to support the improvement of enforcement systems.
We conduct the vast majority of our field investigations jointly with enforcement officials to collect reliable data on logging illegalities and governance strengths and weaknesses. Our legal and environmental expert support officials at all stages including strategy, preparation of documentation, mapping, collection of testimonies and reliable evidence, identification of relevant legal references for notification of offences, data management, report writing and analysis after the investigation, and tracking of legal cases through the judiciary. Aside of daily and routine work alongside enforcement authorities, we organised several formal training on specific themes, and produced numerous draft law enforcement procedures manuals in support of ministries, legislation analysis including gaps and recommendation for improvements. REM programmes also supplied additional equipments and software for enforcement services where resources where assessed to be insufficient for efficient control.
Engaging national civil society in Independent Monitoring (mandated, or not)
Field investigations are also conducted in collaboration and consultation with national civil society. This is a reflection of our commitment to build the technical and institutional capacity of civil society to take a leading role in Independent Monitoring.
REM worked with Forests Monitor in the Republic of Congo to implement the first-ever programme that aimed to establish national civil society as a leader in mandated independent monitoring. This programme had two phases:
1. Phase 1 (2007-2009): developing technical capacity via a civil society shadow team training program; developing institutional capacity by creating a new NGO composed of shadow team members that specialises in mandated Independent Monitoring
2. Phase 2 (2009 – 2011): transition period where the national monitoring NGO gradually takes on a leading role in more IM-FLEG activities, including full implementation of investigatory field missions and working with senior authorities and international donors to establish a plan of action to improve governance
Building on this programme, 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. With TIFG, we continued this collaboration while enabling increased independence and consolidation of REM’s African partners.
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.