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Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Larzilliere A.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Vermeulen C.,University of Liege | Dubiez E.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Yamba T.Y.,Cirad Projet Makala | And 2 more authors.
Bois et Forets des Tropiques | Year: 2013

Henceforth, timber extraction to supply cities with fuelwood has become a major cause of deforestation in Central Africa. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, wood accounts for 90% of domestic fuel demand and resources are increasingly over-exploited. This study addresses the issue of securing sustainable fuelwood supplies for the city of Kinshasa through sustainable management of degraded peri-urban forests in village lands, which are the main sources of supply. Management can only become sustainable with the participation of the main players involved, which are the village communities themselves. The question of participation focused primarily on taking all opinions into consideration in decisionmaking. During the design and negotiation phases for the implementation of simple management plans, a novel means of facilitation was developed in the form of an interactive scale model. This is effectively a modular tool for mapping in relief, made up of painted wooden elements that are used to create a miniature scale model of the village and its lands. The kit includes vignettes illustrating the different issues at stake in the negotiations. These models are very easy to use, by the village communities as well as by the project agents, and have not only greatly contributed to the quality and intensity of communication but also stimulated constructive thinking. Their effectiveness is nevertheless dependent on a sound prior understanding of the village community and its internal issues. As well as a simple tool to aid decision-making, it also addresses the question of real knowledge sharing, which is a key factor in the development of coherent, realistic and equitable agreements on management.

Dubiez E.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Vermeulen C.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Vermeulen C.,University of Liege | Tonneau J.P.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | And 3 more authors.
Bois et Forets des Tropiques | Year: 2013

The management of fuelwood in periurban areas has become a major concern in Central Africa, where growing demand for fuelwood is rapidly increasing the radius of deforestation around its cities. The village communities within these areas are living in an environment that has become degraded to the point where forest ecosystems and their associated goods and services have almost disappeared. The over-exploitation of these areas demands new thinking on the management of community lands. This paper presents a simple management planning approach for community areas. The article discusses the relevance of a management approach based on landscape as perceived and used by the local populations themselves. The structure of these landscapes has evolved with each community's pattern of social organization, practices and rules of access to resources, all of which translate into the typology of a local landscape in daily use. This typology has been called upon to strengthen community appropriation and implementation of development concepts. In contrast with the community forestry approach that has developed in Central Africa for several years, this approach is built around a participatory, iterative, step-by-step process that allows endogenous groups to bring their own vision of their landscape into decision- making, to facilitate discussions around village land management issues and to contribute to the rehabilitation of degraded forest areas.

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