Productive Landscapes (ProLand) - Assessment of Private Sector Approaches to Achieving Conservation Objectives in CARPE -- USAID/DRC
In the last months of 2017, the USAID Sustainable Landscapes Office and the USAID/Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Mission provided the Productive Landscapes (ProLand) project with a Statement of Work (SOW) for an assessment to identify new approaches to achieve the conservation objectives of the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), a long-term initiative of the United States government (USG) to promote biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation in the Congo Basin. ProLand was to assess which private sector actors, activities, and public- private partnerships (PPPs) could contribute to rural economic growth and conservation at meaningfully large scales in the CARPE landscapes. The SOW also specifically requested recommendations regarding the generation of income through the management of community forest concessions.
ProLand assembled a four-member assessment team to implement the SOW. Team members participated in briefings with USAID Washington and USAID/DRC, reviewed relevant literature, and conducted interviews with over 100 key informants in the cities of Kinshasa, Mbandaka, and Goma, as well as in the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) sites to the east of Lac Tumba. Interviewees included representatives of donor organizations, implementing partners, national and provincial government offices, civil society, and the private sector working in timber, charcoal, gas, construction, cocoa, coffee, furniture, and transportation sectors.
To sustainably increase rural incomes, the assessment recommends an approach that focuses on the interaction between communities and the private sector in the context of community forest concessions. Resolving the fundamental question of green growth of DRC’s economy will be an ongoing process of evolution and discovery. This assessment has indicated directions for exploration. Important additional topics for research remain.