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Civil Society In Central African Republic Raises Alarm On Illegal Exploitation Of Forests

The coalition of Organisations and Civil Society for the Durable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment (GDRNE in French) has called on the Central African Republic (CAR) to implement the recommendations of Mandated Independent Observation Missions for effective forestry administration and forestry companies to check illegal forestry exploitation.

The group made the call at a workshop held in Bangui on July 27 and 28, 2020.

With the aim of improving forestry governance and ensure better management of natural a environmental resources in CAR, DGRNE set up a working group in 2017 after validating a document on the strategy for the independent management of forestry activities.

The aim of the working group was to group is to analyse the reports of the monitoring teams before submitting reports to a committee for reading and validation.

Since 2015, six such Mandated Independent Observation missions have conducted forestry monitoring activities in the country. Their reports were validated by the committee for reading and validation before despatch to the government.

The group expressed dismay that 99 per cent of the findings and recommendations submitted by Mandated Independent Observation missions and the Committee for Reading and Validation have remained unattended to. It stated that it would appear government was not in a hurry to correct flaws in the sector.

According to Zoga Parfait, Coordinator of GDRN, the expected results during the workshop were among others, to make a note of the group’s position concerning defects in forestry administrators (government) and forestry exploitation companies and also to reinvigorate the working group of GDRNE.

In their independent monitoring of forestry activities in the CAR, the group took note of multiple illegal forestry exploitation activities and declared that “the forestry administration has effected no control mission nor opened any institutional action against the forestry companies incriminated in the reports.”

It, however, expressed happiness over the collaboration of civil society for the success of the initiatives aimed at permitting local communities and indigenous peoples to manage their resources and enjoy the benefits.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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