Responsive Forest Governance Initiative explores impacts of conservation projects on local people

The Responsive Forest Governance Initiative has just released 10 working papers on REDD+, natural resource governance, and the impacts of conservation projects on local communities, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa, including Cameroon and the DRC.


Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI)


The Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI) is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. It is a $3 million, 4-year research and conservation application program focused on enabling and strengthening representation of forest-based people within local-government environmental decisions in Africa.


(Scroll down to see a list of recent RFGI publications)


Nations worldwide have introduced various reforms aspiring to bring decisions over natural resources closer to the people who use, manage and administer them, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution. When the authority to make or influence these decisions is passed to government jurisdictions closer to the resources, this is called decentralization. It is intended to make local government responsive and accountable to local people’s needs and aspirations so as to improve natural resource management. But how well is it working, and what can be done to improve these systems?
RFGI is exploring ways to best work with local governments to make decentralization more effective for the communities and for the forests on which they depend. 
Natural resources, especially forests, play an important role since they provide people with needed revenue, wealth, and subsistence. Responsive local governments can provide forest-dependent people with the flexibility they need to manage, adapt to and remain resilient in their changing environment. This type of responsive and accountable local governance can reduce vulnerability, enhance local wellbeing, and improve forest management. 
The goal of RFGI research and related outputs is to help conservation agents, researchers, local people, and local governments to find ways to strengthen local governance to help reach these goals. 
The RFGI is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency and executed by the Council for the Development of Social Sciences Research in Africa, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the University of Illinois. The research team includes postdoctoral fellows and more than 30 researchers working in 13 countries. These countries are: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. 


RFGI Resources and Publications


Learning from projects to improve conservation interventions

Despite good intentions, conservation interventions sometimes have negative outcomes for the environment and local residents. The following research from the Responsive Forest Governance Initiative identifies some of the questions raised by unintended consequences of well-meaning decisions within the context of forest conservation, and it offers guidance on how to improve outcomes from future interventions.


To obtain the Full Text, please consult the following link: 

RFGI Resources and Publications

Learning from projects to improve conservation interventions


Image credit: IUCN

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