The EU REDD Facility worked with stakeholders to make information on FLEGT and REDD+ more accessible to stakeholders in the Republic of the Congo. Access to information helps stakeholders to hold governments accountable for FLEGT and REDD+ processes. The project supported the development of a searchable catalogue of documents relating to FLEGT and REDD+ in the Republic of the Congo.
The objective of the project was to increase transparency in the forest and land use sector by facilitating stakeholders’ access to information relating to FLEGT and REDD+ processes. The project aimed to involve stakeholders in government, the private sector and civil society in developing a comprehensive collection of documents and making them available in a searchable digital format. Involving stakeholders also aimed to strengthen the understanding among stakeholders of the importance of making certain documents publicly accessible.
Many stakeholders in the Republic of the Congo do not have access to the many documents produced since 2008 relating to the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process. Many documents produced since 2010 relating to the REDD+ process are similarly not accessible. The lack of access to information on forest and land use, studies, laws and decrees limits the ability of stakeholders to engage in discussions on forest and land use governance, drivers of deforestation, and FLEGT and REDD+ processes. Much information, as well as not being accessible, is not in a digital format.
In the Republic of the Congo, the FLEGT VPA Annex X on published information sets out the information relating to the forest sector that should be publicly available in order to hold the government accountable and ensure effective forest governance. Information that should be public includes, for example, legal information, information on forest management, and data on annual timber production, revenues and exports to the European Union. Making this information publicly available responds to increasing demands for transparency from markets and signals a country’s commitment to open, accountable processes. By making information publicly available, a country shows that it is willing to expose opaque processes and minimise opportunities for corruption and that it is addressing the interests of society as a whole.
The project involved the National REDD+ Coordination (CN REDD) and the Cellule de Légalité et Traçabilité Forestière (CLTF) du Ministère de l’Economie Forestière et du Développement Durable (MEFDD) and ONF International in:
Tree felling in Pokola, Republic of the Congo