CIFOR, in partnership with other conservation organizations, is sharing a four-year, 11.5 million Euro grant from the European Union's Global Climate Change Alliance.
The ‘Forests and Climate Change in the Congo (FCCC)’ project is supporting the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC's) capacity-building and applied research efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation and thereby mitigate climate change.
The FCCC project comprises three components that combine academic and applied activities. The first component focuses on capacity building, which will expand CIFOR's current support to the University of Kisangani (UNIKIS) through the REFORCO project by training an additional 40 Master’s and 10 PhD Congolese forestry students over the next four years.
This project will expand training to include 70 undergraduate students at UNIKIS, and the Universities of Butembo, Goma and Bukavu, focusing on issues of climate change, sustainable forest management and forest governance. CIFOR will provide scientific leadership and provide students with a 'living library' by providing research papers and other learning materials on DVD, which is crucial for a country where internet access is restricted.
The FCCC project is investing in university infrastructure at UNIKIS and improved internet access for smaller universities. This component of the project is aimed at teaching science that is in the DRC's public interest following the vision of the Rector of UNIKIS.
The second component of the project is supporting the sustainable management, and integrity of the spectacularly biodiverse Virunga National Park (ViNP) landscape in North Kivu Province. In implementing this component, CIFOR is working with several partners.
The FCCC project is planting 3,000 hectares of forests outside the ViNP in a bid to reduce subsistence and agricultural pressures on the forests of the park. Tree-planting schemes are being developed with local farmers in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Goma. In addition, 5,000 hectares of degraded lands are being restored inside the ViNP with the African Conservation Fund/Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature.
As part of this project, the World Agroforestry Centre is supporting research on how existing agroforestry systems can be intensified and improved, and how market access can be improved for local farmers. CIFOR is coordinating additional research on issues such as carbon finance, improving rural livelihoods and forest governance.
This project is also ensuring the efficient and effective coordination of the FCCC project in the DRC by CIFOR's key partner - Resources and Synergies Development. This encompasses linkages with other organizations and universities within and outside the DRC.