A case study on inclusiveness in forest management decision-making mechanisms: A comparison of certified and non-certified forests in the Republic of the Congo

dc.contributor.authorGuillaume, E.
dc.titleA case study on inclusiveness in forest management decision-making mechanisms: A comparison of certified and non-certified forests in the Republic of the Congoen
dcterms.accessRightsLimited access
dcterms.typeJournal Article
fsc.evidenceCategoryFSC impact-related
fsc.focus.forestTypeNatural Forest
fsc.subjectEcological Impacts
fsc.subjectSocial Impacts
fsc.subjectEconomic Impacts
fsc.subjectHealth and safety
fsc.subjectMarket access
fsc.subjectNorth America
fsc.subjectEnvironmental Management
fsc.topic.socialConsultation, participation, empowerment
is.availability.fullTextFull text available
is.contributor.memberForest Stewardship Council
is.coverage.regionMiddle Africa
is.evaluation.collectionFocus groups
is.evaluation.collectionCase studies
is.evaluation.notesThis study's main short-coming is that the comparison is made using a certified and a non-certified FMU only. Moreover, no statistical tools have been used. This design provides weak statistical power and prevents the authors from detecting differences due to certification. Other confounding variables could cause the observed differences in inclusiveness between the two sites and so causal relationship are difficult to highlight. An example is that the authors mention that the villages close to the certified FMU are "easily accessible by boat on the Sangha River and by car via maintained forest tracks." while the access to the villages close to the non-certified FMU "is not easy as forest tracks are not maintained, making these villages isolated from external actors". Yet, the later villages are home to a mixed-gender cooperative, run by a female, aiming "to promote intra-village solidarity and develop sustainable agricultural practices." This cooperative might, at least partly, result from the said isolation as inhabitants have more benefits in organizing themselves to benefits from agricultural activities.
is.evaluation.notesIt is worth noting that the proportion of women employed in both logging companies (certified and non-certified) remain below 4%.
is.evaluation.notesAnother point to underline is that inclusiveness is analysed through participation at village meetings. Participation to meetings specifically dealing with forest management issues are not considered. Therefore, the influence of the cooperative might have influence the results (higher participation of women in the villages close to the non-certified FMU and with the cooperative with female members). However, this cooperative has not been created in the context of, and is run independently of forestry operations. Therefore, one should be careful when concluding about the influence of FSC certification on the inclusiveness of women in decision making.
is.evaluation.quotesIn the villages close to the FSC-certified FMU, "A female gender officer was hired by the logging company to sensitize communities about gender issues and ensure that women are actively involved in forest management, particularly the micro-projects funded by the Local Development Fund. Yet, interviews revealed that women do not actively participate. Women specifically complained that they are never included in the decision-making processes, even in cases that concern them."
is.evaluation.quotes"In the FSC-certified UFA, village projects and development activities are discussed and voted on in the Conseil de Concertation (District Council Committee) and the Comité de Suivi (Evaluation Committee). These are the largest multi- stakeholder decision-making structures and are implemented under the management plan."
is.evaluation.quotes"The results of this study showed that women do not have sufficient representation to influence in these governancecommittees, committees, since there is just one woman on the District Council."
is.evaluation.quotes"By contrast, in Egaba and Bolozo [non-certified FMU] overall women participate more. Thus, the participation gap is much less significant than in the other two villages [certified FMU]. Similarly on the question on leadership, the responses are more balanced between sexes."
is.evaluation.quotes"Women are under-represented in forest-related decision- making processes. This has a significant impact on their capacity to voice their concerns and preferences but also to develop self-confidence and public speaking skills."
is.evidenceTypeEmpirical study
is.focus.systemElementMandE outcomes and impacts
is.focus.systemElementMandE performance monitoring
is.identifier.schemeNameForest Stewardship Council
is.identifier.schemeTypeVoluntary Sustainability Standards
is.item.reviewStatusPeer reviewed
is.journalNameInternational Forestry Review