Summary of REPALEAC side event at CBFP MOP: How to strengthen regional coordination and effective support of indigenous peoples and local communities



The Network of Indigenous and Local Communities for the sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa (REPALEAC), a member network of CEFDHAC, hosted a side event at the 17th CBFP MOP on Wednesday, 25 October, which drew over 80 participants from all sectors, around the topic of participation of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC) in sustainable forest management in Central Africa.



The premise put forward by REPALEAC is that incorporating the traditional  knowledge and learning of the IPLC is crucial to sustainable forest management. The use and transmission of this traditional knowledge would require the vitality of their culture and respect for their dignity. However, various threats undermine the vitality of the IPCL’s culture, such as discrimination, marginalization, denial of their rights and access to basic services.



In a bid to develop a positive and innovative approach to addressing these threats, and following broad consultation with member organizations in eight countries across Central Africa, the Central Africa IPCL have designed a strategic framework encompassing 4 priority axes (land access, participation in natural resources governance, sustainable economic development and improvement of living conditions of IPCL) underpinned by a cross-cutting axis aimed at improving the protection of IPCL in Central Africa (including by strengthening institutions representing the IPCL, such as  REPALEAC). REPALEAC’s strategy falls squarely in line with the COMIFAC Convergence Plan 2015-2025 



As an example, four member countries of REPALEAC (CAR, Chad, Burundi and DRC) submitted field projects on harnessing the traditional knowledge of IPCL with a view to strengthening environmental action in these countries.



Following lively discussions with the audience, REPALEAC called on all partners active in Central Africa to get acquainted with their strategy which reflects the needs and aspirations of the IPCL and thus align their programs and projects accordingly. This would enhance the effectiveness and consistency of efforts on behalf of IPCL and help ensure sustainability of Central Africa’s valuable natural resources.

REPALEAC Coordination



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