Institute for Environmental Security
Advancing Global Environmental Security through
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IES Mission to DRC
Establishing Contact with Congolese Stakeholders
24 June 2008
In the framework of the ESPA Programme, Congo Basin (DRC ? Case Study), the mission was sent to DR Congo with the following objectives:
- Promote IES: before this mission, the Institute for Environmental Security was unknown in DRC. The concept of environmental security itself and its consequences on tensions, conflicts, human security and poverty alleviation, and its implications in the present peace building in DRC are not well known.
- Participate to the International Conference on the protection of the Congo basin. This conference aims at protecting the ecosystem in the region of the Virunga National Park. According to Mr. Dan Reifsnyder, Under U.S. Secretary of State for the Environment, it will involve Rwanda, the DRC and Uganda. This conference was postponed and will take place in Ruwengeri (Rwanda).
- Participate to the International Workshop on Alternative Management Models and Finance Mechanisms for Sustainable Forest Use in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Environment of the Democratic Republic of Congo with the support of the UK Department of International Development (DFID), in association with the World Bank and other partners, and with the technical support of Chatham House. The main purpose of this workshop was to consider if innovative models for the management and financing of the country?s forests are to be successfully implemented. The challenges include those related to broader forest governance, i.e. the policy, legal and institutional conditions. It also focuses on the conditions required to facilitate forest business and enterprises in DRC.
- Hold consultations with the Minister for Environment and heads of relevant departments, as well as international and national NGOs on environmental issues and challenges in DR Congo.
- Explore Potential ESPA Programme Congo Basin/DRC partners in DRC.
During these contacts and consultations, the Congo Basin (DRC) / ESPA Programme Coordinator sought to demonstrate that present population growth, under-nutrition and food needs, deforestation and forest degradation, malaria, poaching and overfishing, energy needs are often linked to armed conflicts and war. These problems are today?s new environmental security threats and can lead to tribal and ethnic conflicts at local, provincial, national and/or international level.