DRC Conclusions of the 2nd independent verification

DRC: 2nd verification of milestones

Posted on January 15, 2021 7:40:00 AM

Encouraging progress, despite some difficulties

The second independent verification of the milestones of the Letter of Intent between the DRC and CAFI analysed the level of achievement of intermediate milestones (2018) and progress towards final milestones (2020).

In addition to the figures, the report provides an analysis of which programme funded by CAFI through the FONAREDD is contributing to which milestones, and with what degree of success.

This second independent verification was carried out by TEREA, who had carried out the first independent verification in 2019.

While number of achieved milestones remains similar, progress is noted 

The report notes a positive trend towards achieving 29 interim milestones (2018) compared to the first independent verification.

  • In the area of land-use planning, for example, thematic studies (agriculture and forestry) were launched (milestone 2018 5b) to inform the development of a spatial planning policy. In addition, a draft of a methodological guide on participatory zoning was elaborated and already tested in Ituri province (milestone 2018 5b). The adoption of a land-use policy and associated convening of stakeholders is also a first in a country that was historically lacking any regulatory instruments on land-use planning - although the report highlights that the process could have been more participatory at the local level. Additional work is needed, the report also notes, to ensure clear articulation of policy and regualtory instruements with sectoral policies, and better linkages to the country's commitments under the UNFCCC and the Letter of Intent. 
  • With regard to land tenure, activities have been launched in all multisectoriel provincial programmes ("PIREDDs") to support local communities in the application procedures for various local and community models of sustainable forest management (milestone 2018 6c)
  • On forest governance, the milestone calling for a specific plan against illegal logging  is not reached, as this plan that will developped under the Programme for the sustainable management of forests. However, the report notes that ponctual missions and actions were mandated by the Minister to monitor and act against illegal logging. 

The scoring system under the Letter of Intent was a choice between fully achieved, partially achieved or not achieved at all.

The number of fully achieved milestones has increased from 4 to 5 and the number of partially achieved milestones from 17 to 20. Only 3 milestones are not achieved at all (down from 7 in 2018). To add more nuance to the analysis, the report shows that out of the 20 partially achieved milestones, 7 milestones show a positive momentum towards full achievement in 2021.

Progress towards the 2020 milestones related to agricultural policy, energy policy, forest code, family planning and REDD+ governance is less significant. As for the milestones relating to improved cookstoves (energy), stabilisation of illegal logging and REDD+ standards for the mining and hydrocarbon sector, progress had yet to be demonstrated, the report concludes.

Challenges  

The report identifies some of the causes that have slowed progress towards achieving the milestones, and measures implemented to address them. Among others, the international health crisis in 2020 had a strong impact on programme implementation. In addition, delays in the approval and implementation processes of programmes and activities, particularly in the forestry sector remain a concern.

Despite these difficulties, this second independent verification observes an overall positive dynamic in the DRC: The system set up by the FONAREDD Secretariat has generally improved, especially in terms of monitoring and evaluation, communication and coordination with government administrations, and awareness-raising of a range of stakeholders, notably with the organization of the first FONAREDD Forum in 2020.

As far as programming is concerned, practically all sectoral and integrated programmes initially planned have been launched and/or are now active, including on sustainable management of agriculture and forests and on family planning. 

Recommendations

The independent report identifies some recommendations to improve achievement towards all milestones:

  • Better interaction and synchronicity between programmes - with the report noting increasing efforts 
  • Greater involvement of the private sector in several decision-making bodies and in relation to provincial multi-sectoral programmes (known as PIREDDs)
  • Technical capacity building (on all the themes covered by the Letter of Intent) for civil society members.

 

Next steps

The report is now part of the background documents for the Annual review of the partnership between the DRC and CAFI, and a useful source in the discussions on a 2nd partnership for the period 2021-2030. 

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Rapport de la 2ème vérification indépendante

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