The capacities of stakeholders in the forest and environment sector are strengthened with regard to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The GCCA programme will provide technical support to the Ministry of Environment for mainstreaming climate change into the national forest and energy strategies.
The University of Kisangani will be strengthened in its role of training centre and centre of competence in charge of supporting the generational transition within the forest and environment administration. Support will be given to the development and delivery of short training programmes and the continuation of diploma-level education programmes as well as relevant research initiatives initiated with 10th EDF funding and by other donors.
Capacity building will focus on the skills required for ecosystem-based adaptation, carbon stock measurement and monitoring, the implementation of measures that realise synergies between adaptation and mitigation in the forest sector, and the design of effective, efficient and equitable adaptation and mitigation strategies. Programmes will be adapted for various target groups (e.g. civil servants, policy makers, media, civil society). Equipment for the rehabilitation of a number of training centres will also be purchased.
In the second most populated region of the country, agroforestry plantations and restored, well-managed forest ecosystems provide woodfuel and income to local populations, thus helping reduce pressure on protected forests.
Concrete measures will be undertaken to protect forests in the eastern part of the country, notably in the vicinity of the Virunga National Park. In the wake of the success of similar initiatives in the western part of the country, the development of woodfuel plantations will be encouraged, at various scales and by various actors (village communities, small private land owners, private investors). The restoration and more sustainable management of degraded natural forests will also be supported.
This component will involve social and environmental impact assessments and studies on ‘enabling’ themes (e.g. territorial planning, land tenure issues, general planning), as well as direct support for the development and management of agroforestry plantations. Priority areas will be defined and agreements prepared with local authorities, including decentralised government levels and customary authorities. Community-based forest management plans focused on woodfuel production will also be prepared.
These approaches are expected to increase the supply of wood for charcoal under sustainable conditions, to provide new livelihood and income opportunities for local populations, to increase carbon stocks (thus creating opportunities to access international carbon finance flows), and ultimately to reduce pressure on natural forests.