The politics of forest governance failure in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): lessons from 35 years of political rivalries

2021 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​The politics of forest governance failure in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): lessons from 35 years of political rivalries​
Majambu, E.; Demaze, M. T. & Ongolo, S.​ (2021) 
International Forestry Review23(3) pp. 321​-337​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1505/146554821833992857 

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Authors
Majambu, E.; Demaze, M. Tsayem; Ongolo, S.
Abstract
The promotion of good governance in the forestry sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was one of the major components of the policy reforms initiated by international organisations in the mid-1980s. This paper analyses concepts of 'good governance' in the forestry sector in the DRC between the mid-1980s and 2020 and highlights the recent history of forest policy reforms. From an empirical perspective, our analysis builds both on an extensive review of policy documents and field observations, as well as interviews with actors who have been involved with forest policy reforms or seen how they were implemented. The paper also describes the key actors involved in those reforms and investigates the coalitions formed between some of them to influence the forestland governance in the country. The paper demonstrates that international organisations have often played a decisive and intrusive role in the promotion of 'good governance' in the DRC forestry sector. Their strong involvement is sometimes seen as interference and has aggravated rather than alleviated the governance crisis. In some cases, politicians, military and administrative officers have used political and security unrest as a scapegoat to benefit from forest governance failure and the related business-as-usual in the DRC.
The promotion of good governance in the forestry sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was one of the major components of the policy reforms initiated by international organisations in the mid-1980s. This paper analyses concepts of 'good governance' in the forestry sector in the DRC between the mid-1980s and 2020 and highlights the recent history of forest policy reforms. From an empirical perspective, our analysis builds both on an extensive review of policy documents and field observations, as well as interviews with actors who have been involved with forest policy reforms or seen how they were implemented. The paper also describes the key actors involved in those reforms and investigates the coalitions formed between some of them to influence the forestland governance in the country. The paper demonstrates that international organisations have often played a decisive and intrusive role in the promotion of 'good governance' in the DRC forestry sector. Their strong involvement is sometimes seen as interference and has aggravated rather than alleviated the governance crisis. In some cases, politicians, military and administrative officers have used political and security unrest as a scapegoat to benefit from forest governance failure and the related business-as-usual in the DRC.
Issue Date
2021
Journal
International Forestry Review 
ISSN
1465-5489
Language
English

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