The social clause system has its origins in (oral or, more rarely, written) agreements that forestry companies
in the Congo Basin made with local communities living in the vicinity of the areas where they formerly
had operating licences or permits. This system existed long before forestry laws – adopted after the 1992
Rio Summit – institutionalized the practice, inspired by the idea of financing local development through
exploiting natural resources. The approach involves promoting social forestry within the broader concept
of sustainable management; specifically, using financial contributions from forest concession holders to
implement an adopted forest management plan.