Cercle d’Appui à la Gestion Durable des Forêts (CAGDF)
Cercle d’appui à la gestion durable des forêts
Cercle d’Appui à la Gestion Durable des Forêts (CAGDF) is a civil society organisation that was founded in 2010 to focus on issues of forest governance and community rights, particularly in relation to independent monitoring. CAGDF was founded within the context of a project focused on establishing a formal Independent Observer (IO) to monitor implementation of the national forest code in the Republic of Congo. In order to effectively establish itself, the organisation benefited from support from two international non-governmental organisations in particular: Resource Extraction Monitoring (REM) and Forests Monitor (FM).
The focus of CAGDF’s work is independent observation: to date, it has specifically been involved in formal processes linked to the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) that was signed between the Congolese government and the European Union in 2010.
Since 2010, CAGDF has partnered with REM and FM to implement a project called Independent Observation of the Implementation of the Forest Code and Forest Governance to Support the VPA/FLEGT Process in the Congo Basin (OIFLEG). Throughout the duration of this project, CAGDF has benefited from a transfer of skills from these partner organisations. Based on this experience, the next phase of OIFLEG, which will begin at the latest in 2014, will be managed entirely by CAGDF, which will also take over the role of formal IO within the VPA process.
CAGDF is made up of forest engineers, socio-economic experts and a lawyer. As a team they have a wealth of expertise and experience. Since its creation, most of the CAGDF members have worked on the legal and technical side of things: organising and carrying out field missions to document the activities of various forest companies operating throughout the country; writing up reports; and presenting key findings to government, private sector and other civil society organisations. However, very few of the CAGDF members have experience of starting up and running an organisation.
CAGDF approached Well Grounded in mid-2012 to get some support in thinking through and developing a transition plan, as REM and FM wound down their involvement in managing the OIFLEG project in the Republic of Congo and CAGDF prepared to step into the formal IO role and to take on full responsibility for this work.
Over the past year, Well Grounded has worked with key individuals within CAGDF, as well as with the whole team, to accompany them in thinking through their transition. Well Grounded designed a methodology and a series of tools to analyse the roles and responsibilities of all individuals who have been involved in the IO project to date, as well as other members of CAGDF. The idea of this analysis is to evaluate who does what at the moment, which gaps will be created when REM and FM are no longer involved in the project, and what strategies CAGDF can put in place to address these gaps based on its existing strengths, competencies and partnerships.