Nearly 65% of the Republic of Congo is currently forested. While current rates of deforestation are relatively low, selective logging and the conversion of forested areas to other uses like agricultural cultivation, threaten to increase those rates in the near future, bringing risks of long-term damage to people and ecosystems.
Legal reform /VPA status
In May 2010, the Republic of Congo signed a bi-lateral agreement with the European Union on timber trade and forest governance, known as a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). The agreement was ratified in February 2013 and is currently being implemented. As part of that implementation, a number of reforms to the existing framework of laws governing forests and timber harvesting have been planned. Some of these legal reforms have started. Where they have, one of the key requirements of the VPA is that they are done with the participation of civil society and the private sector.
ClientEarth’s role supporting VPA implementation
ClientEarth has been supporting civil society’s participation in the VPA implementation and associated legal reforms since March 2012.
We work with civil society to ensure their informed and strong participation to the Forest Code review and the VPA process. We also work towards a better understanding of laws in demand countries that restrict market access to illegally harvested timber.
We focus on ensuring that national stakeholders have the legal understanding and skills necessary to engage in legal reform and advocacy. We provide legal analyses and training on key aspects of the law, and support national NGOs to advocate for their priorities.
We have drawn together a database of laws, intended as a resource for civil society organisations and others interested in management of natural resources and community rights in the Republic of Congo. Explore the Republic of Congo law database.
ClientEarth has also developed its own resources to support the Congolese civil society
The Republic of Congo Team
In the Republic of Congo, ClientEarth works with Brazzaville-based In-country Associate Ines Mvoukani from local NGO Comptoir Juridique Junior, and with Technical Adviser Alfred Nkodia. To get in touch with a member of the team, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.