Les concessions forestières des communautés locales : acceptabilité sociale et enjeux pour une gestion durable des forêts en République démocratique du Congo

Authors: Baraka, Prince Lucungu
Advisor: Khasa, PhambuDhital, Narayan Prasad
Abstract: Since 2014, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been engaged in the operationalization of community forestry, through the institutionalization of the local community forest concessions (LCFCs). This transition in governance is innovative for all institutions involved in the implementation of this process, both at the central and local levels. This study was initiated to explore the social acceptability of LCFCs and the resulting challenges for sustainable forest management in the DRC. Specifically, it was a question of(i) analyzing the evolution of the forest management system in the DRC; (ii) evaluating the perception and attitude of local communities toward LCFC as a forest management model; and (iii) document and explain the dynamics of citizens' involvement in the implementation of LCFCs. A mixed-methods approach, combining quantitative and qualitative research techniques, including semi-structured interviews (91), focus groups (11), and surveys of 239 households, was used in two LCFCs located in Maniema and Equateur Provinces, DRC. Results show that current forest management systems in the DRC are part of a long tradition, dating back to the pre-colonial and colonial eras, which continues to influence and characterize current management patterns. The institutional framework remains tainted by a colonial past which, coupled with the country's socio-economic and political contexts, makes it difficult to operationalize the reforms undertaken in the forestry sector, particularly those related to community forestry. The perception and social capital indices constructed in this study demonstrate a positive attitude of local communities toward the LCFC. Education, age, occupation, knowledge of the legal framework and family size are the main factors influencing attitudes toward LCFC. Administrative procedures increase the costs of acquiring a LCFC and negatively affect community attitudes. Finally, the results reveal the existence of a diversity of generally homogeneous local organizations with in the studied LCFCs. These community groups and social networks within villages provide a platform for stakeholders to share their knowledge, experiences, and concerns. These structures offer many opportunities for learning and can serve as a basis for improving the governance of LCFCs. However, traditionally marginalized groups such as youth, women, and indigenous peoples are poorly represented and rarely participate in community decision-making, which can limit their representation in LCFC governance bodies. This study demonstrates un potential for local community buy-in to the LCFC, and highlights the need to consider local realities, including local organizational structure and community capacity to take charge of a LCFC. In addition to being applicable to other Central African countries engaged in community forestry, the results of this study could be applied to the reforms planned at the end of the experimental phase to improve the regulatory framework governing LCFCs in the DRC.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2022
Open Access Date: 20 June 2022
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/73604
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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