Landscape-Scale Conservation in the Congo Basin: Lessons Learned from the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE)
This document contains lessons learned from a decade of conservation work carried out by USAID’s Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE). The program operates in nine countries spanning the Congo Basin and is aimed at improving natural resource management in order to reduce deforestation and conserve biodiversity. Field-based activities are being carried out in 12 landscapes covering over 80 million hectares.
It contains 27 case studies of applied conservation as well as seven overview articles synthesizing the results of groups of case studies, which cover different thematic areas. The studies are organized into land-use planning, environmental policy and governance, and monitoring of natural resources.
Some lessons learned on effective land use planning, for example, included that stakeholders be consulted from the outset on all aspects of program design, implementation, and monitoring. Investments in technical capacity are important, as is a consortium’s governance structure and functions. And plans should be holistic and dynamic, taking changes in a landscape into consideration, and be built upon existing local initiatives.