A new step towards community forestry around Salonga
On May 31st, the Governor of Maï-Ndombé signed six provincial decrees officializing forest concessions for the communities of Bolongo (Iyoko, South Ipoka, Boungousani, Bekombo, Lompole, Mbongo). These forest concessions are the first ones ever to receive legal titles as community forests in the Salonga landscape. The files were filed at the Mai Ndombe Province Governorate in Inongo in August 2017. They cover an area of 172,807 hectares and directly border the limits of the southern block of the national park. They play an important role as the park’s buffer zone.
Since 2016, the management team of SNP has supported communities bordering the park to obtain community forestry titles in the provinces of Mai-Ndombe and Tshuapa in accordance with the provisions of the Forest Code. The management team has worked to build the capacity of communities and administrative authorities in these two provinces on the different aspects of community forestry.
These six concessions, which are pilot sites for community forestry implementation of the Salonga program, alone account for 58% of WWF’s goal of 300,000 ha of community forests by 2021 in the Salonga landscape.
The management team will continue to support the communities to properly manage and develop activities to sustainably use the forest. This way communities will be able to use forest resources while at the same time contribute positively to the integrity of the protected area.
Now that the legal titles to the community forests are obtained, the loval people with the support of the management team of SNP will carry out multi-resource inventories. These inventories are the basis of identifying potentially exploitable resources and develop simple sustainable management plans.
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