CONTEXT AND JUSTIFICATION
The Democratic Republic of Congo has significant forest resources capable of contributing significantly to its socio-economic development. These forests are home to a very rich fauna that is not filled. They are rare and unique in the world and a flora of remarkable biodiversity.
Indeed, the province of South Kivu is endowed with forest ecosystems estimated at 4,419,000 ha. They consist of mountain forests in the east and low altitudes in the west of the province. It also abounds in savannah landscapes which can constitute important carbon sinks.
The province is home to a national park, two hunting estates, a zoological garden, several forest reserves and a few critical sites requiring conservation status in the DRC.
However, these forest ecosystems in South Kivu are seriously threatened by demographic pressure and human activities such as agricultural clearing, mining, unsustainable logging as part of the search for firewood, artisanal wood. , lumber, etc. These illegal anthropogenic activities on forests generate enormous consequences, in particular desertification, floods, river stoppage, emerging diseases, loss of biodiversity and temperature rise, disasters, etc.
In addition, it is also reported a fraudulent flow of artisanal logging operations in interconnection with commercial operators of forest species from the DR Congo to the countries of the Great Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania).
Although the legal arsenal exists (laws, ordinances, ministerial decrees, codes, etc.) dealing with all the problems relating to the rational management of natural resources, there are still many inadequacies in the application of all these Legal instruments in forest governance in South Kivu in particular and generally in DR Congo.
The overall objective of this research is to contribute to the identification and strategic analysis of economic and community alternatives to illegal logging in the South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
1) Conduct individual and collective surveys in forest areas on local, provincial and national forest governance strategies and practices (participatory zoning/mapping, Appropriation mechanisms, Corruption and impunity in the forest sector, Income-generating forestry activities, Small-scale logging areas, Role of gender and youth in sustainable forest protection, Power conflict between the forest administration and the local customary administration/legal pluralism, traceability, local policing of forest resources ...) ;
2) Identify the factors and key actors concerned, their socio-economic profile in the traceability of illegal timber trade and its derivatives on the various eco-geographic axes of South Kivu;
3) Analyze tropical timber priorities (fuelwood, timber, service timber, commercial timber) and the pace of activity undertaken and bringing added value within the framework of sustainable forest governance;
4) Identify and popularize economic and community alternatives limiting illegal logging in South Kivu to local, provincial, national and sub-regional stakeholders;
5) Propose simplified strategies and plans for sustainable forest management in South Kivu.
At the end of this research, strategic, economic and community alternatives are identified, tested and popularized in the face of illegal logging in South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo:
1) the factors and causes of poor forest governance are identified and listed;
2) the key players in illegal logging, their socio-economic profile in the traceability of illegal timber trade and its derivatives are identified and analyzed;
3) the priorities for tropical wood (energy wood, timber, service wood, commercial wood) and the pace of activities undertaken and bringing added value within the framework of forest governance, are identified, specified and leveraged for communities;
4) simplified strategies and plans for sustainable forest management are proposed and disseminated to local, provincial, national and regional stakeholders.