Project information

Helping communities to protect Africa's rainforest

The big idea is to that, instead of local people being excluded and often evicted from protected areas such as National Parks in Africa’s rainforests, to work with them and use their presence and knowledge to help strengthen conservation of rainforest while also protecting their rights.

January 2017 - December 2017

Charity information

The Rainforest Foundation UK

The Rainforest Foundation UK logo
  • Need


    Strictly protected areas in the Congo Basin have serious impacts on local communities: their land rights are violated when they are displaced to create “empty” protected areas, rights to livelihoods are undermined as access to essential resources are restricted and they face threats to basic rights and freedoms with arbitrary arrest, torture and punishment at the hands of park guards. Exclusion of communities from conservation efforts harms both local livelihoods and conservation effectiveness.


    The project will support communities to better understand their rights, and the laws and policies that relate to conservation; will train communities and local organisations to monitor human rights violations and develop strategies to realise community participation in management of protected areas; will work with institutions charged with managing protected areas to develop conflict resolution processes targeting specific protected areas, with the aim of advancing a new model of conservation

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Rights of indigenous communities in conservation projects are upheld improving conservation outcomes


    » Consultation and training of communities: Target communities are trained on their rights and can implementing methodologies to document abuses
    » Monitoring of human rights violations: A reporting system is developed and implemented to aggregate and convey information produced at community level
    » Dialogue: Multi-stakeholder meetings with government officials, conservation NGOs and park managers to create a roadmap for better outcomes
    » Redress: Support to specific cases of human rights violations, which are taken to national courts.

    Donors, national authorities and park managers in each area agree on a series of specific measures to protect human rights in protected areas.

  • Impact


    The project will develop an adequate evidence base to instigate a broader review of strategies to tackle deforestation in the Congo Basin, providing elements to revise the effectiveness of the current conservation model.


    Weak rule of law and pervasive human rights violations.
    Capacity needs of local organisations.
    Lack of clarity in the relevant legal frameworks and requirements, and contradictions between national and international laws.
    Management of the relationship between protected areas managers and affected people.


    Project update reports will be available at the end of every year and details of achievements will be communicated in our annual review and quarterly e-newsletter updates to donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £15,000 Community training Training of local and indigenous communities on human rights and specific monitoring methodology
      £15,000 Monitoring violations Developing and testing a system to enable communities to transfer information on abuses
      £10,000 Field trips and management Field trips to build capacity of local implementing partner NGOs and to measure performance
  • Background


    The project will monitor the human rights situation around protected areas in the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), especially focusing on the Odzala-Kokoua National Park and the Tumba Lediima Reserve in DRC.


    This project will work with the indigenous Baka and Bakola as well as Bantu communities living in the periphery of Odzala Kokoua National Park, and with communities located near around and in the Tumba-Lediima Reserve in the DRC. Target communities will be those that have suffered one or several of the following impacts: physical or economic displacement from their traditional lands; restrictions to gathering, fishing or other subsistence activities; daily marginalisation and abuse.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    RFUK has 25 years of experience in managing projects in tropical countries and this includes 18 years in the Congo Basin promoting community rights to land and resources and supporting community participation in forest governance.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Georges-Thierry Handja

    RFUK Mapping Coordinator - with extensive experience in participatory approaches and working with forest communities.

    Laurence Duprat

    DRC Programme Manager - has been working for RFUK for 4 years with a specialized background on rights and legal capacity building.