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Forest Law and Governance: NGO Statements

Implementation of community forestry in the Republic of Congo

In the Republic of Congo, the forestry sector is the second-largest contributor to the national economy after oil, and the principal employer after the government sector. Approximately 640,000 people living in forest zones are directly or indirectly dependent on the forest resources. The country is at a turning-point in terms of the management of its natural resources and in particular of its forests, as it aspires to becoming an “emerging economy”.

The local communities and indigenous peoples are increasingly on the margins of the formal economy and of decision-making concerning the use of the natural resources, and they are confronted with growing land insecurity.
There is a desperate need to detail, recognize, and guarantee the customary property and usage rights of the communities who depend on the forest. Likewise, in theory, the policies, laws, and initiatives aimed at reinforcing more inclusive and equitable management of the forests offer these communities the possibility of participating in and contributing to sustainable economic progress in harmony with their own vision of development.
PDF iconCommunity Forestry RoC.pdf470.3 KB

NGO letter to Commission re: responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making

This letter from eight environmental NGOs asks the European Commission to ensure that all participants of their conference 'Tackling illegal logging and deforestation: progress made and opportunities for future action' have the necessary materials to contribute effectively.

Mexican community forest constitution

This is a typical constitution for a community forest in Mexico.  It is the central document setting out how the community governs itself and its land and resources. It covers issues such as:

  • How the community assembly takes decisions
  • The functioning of the community’s representative bodies (the management board and the surveillance committee) - how they are elected, what their responsibilities are, and how they are held accountable
  • The different types of land within the community’s property – Common Use Area, individual/family parcels, and residential land
  • How the Common Use Area (forest) is to be used, how decisions about it are taken, and how the use of it can be contracted to third parties
  • What constitutes the community’s Common Funds, and how these Common Funds can be spent
  • Penalties for non-observance of community rules
  • The relationship between community rules and Mexican statutory law
  • The acceptance and ejection of community members
  • The transferral of community members’ rights to new people

It may be useful for communities, NGOs, government and academics working to develop community forests in other regions.

Consejo Civil Mexicano para la Silvicultura Sostenible supported the community of San Antonio de la Laguna in the elaboration of this constitution.  More information about their work with communities can be found on their website.  

Fern's input to the EU Consultation on revising the European Consensus on Development

Fern's input into the European Commission consultation on how development policy, in the context of EU external action as foreseen by the Lisbon Treaty, should respond to the range of landmark 2015 summits and conferences, and also to the rapid changes happening in the world.

PDF iconFern response to consultation.pdf107.78 KB

EU - Stop Supporting the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition

This statement on behalf of Fern and Transparency International (TI) welcomes the European Parliament resolution adopted on 7 June 2016, which calls on the European Union (EU) to halt its support to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. The EU Parliament resolution urges the New Alliance to address the severe problems it is causing, including undermining sustainable small-scale food production and food security, and provoking land grabbing.

Tackling illegal logging, deforestation and forest degradation – a global agenda for the EU

This letter from eight NGOs to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission encourages the EU to intensify its diplomatic efforts with major forest-rich countries to tackle illegal logging, deforestation and forest degradation, engage in sustained dialogue at the highest level with its partners internationally, and increase the coherence of its policies to effectively play its part in ending deforestation and the rights violations frequently associated with it.

Letter to agriculture ministers for European Council meeting on FLEGT

This letter to agricultural ministers thanks them for their actions to control illegal logging and encourages them to ensure all forest risk commodities’ supply chains consist of only legally and sustainably sourced products, free from deforestation, and develop an EU Action Plan on deforestation and forest degradation, to ensure policy coherence across different sectors.

It is available in German, English, French and Spanish.


Most recent publications

Achieving the 1.5 Target with Forests: What Role for the EU? - Panel event

Latests developments provided an important opportunity for Fern and its partners to invite EU representatives, experts and civil society to our panel event on 7 March 2018, "Achieving the 1.5° Target with Forests: What Role for the EU?" chaired by MEPs Heidi Hautala (Greens/EFA) and Carlos Zorrinho (S&D). The event discussed the Commission workplan priorities, reiterated the relevance and impact of the VPAs, encouraged EU institutions and Member States to integrate FLEGT principles and forests into relevant climate interventions, and raised the importance of restoring degraded forest ecosystems by working closely with local communities.

Nepal shows how forest restoration can help people, biodiversity and the climate

by Hanna Aho

A revolution is unfolding in the foothills of the Himalayas: trees are coming back to areas run by communities.

Over the past quarter century, the foothills of the Himalayas have seen a radical transformation. A pattern of destruction that unfolded over decades is steadily but irresistibly being reversed.

Cameroonian women are the first victims of palm oil plantations

By Laurence WETE SOH

In Cameroon, the national women's day will focus on “intensifying efforts to combat discrimination against women and strengthening the partnership for sustainable development”. My NGO Foder took advantage of the media spotlight to report the violence and abuses faced by women living in the surroundings or inside large monoculture plantations.

VPAs and NDCs: Sharing the Toolbox? – How lessons learned from EU FLEGT can be put to work for the Paris Agreement

As the Paris Agreement is ratified by each of its signatory states, they commit to put into action their specific national plans to combat climate change. These plans are called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

PDF iconVPAs and NDCs.pdf2.89 MB

What role do forests and governance play in countries’ nationally determined contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement?

This study analyses the correlation between forest governance and deforestation, and aims to improve national understanding of the challenges involved in land-use governance. The multistakeholder Voluntary Partnership Agreement process has created an unprecedented opportunity for dialogue on improving transparency and accountability in the forestry sector.

PDF iconfern_cameroon_eng.pdf2.22 MB