Tropical forest projects

Forest Peoples (Congo)

In collaboration with the Society for Endangered People

The project aims to significantly improve the situation of the so called pygmies and other forest people in the Congo Basin, who are affected by the current deforestation activities of logging companies.
Traditionally living forest peoples are the best forest protectors. For centuries they lived in harmony with the forest without harming it. Many of these peoples are facing changes nowadays accelerated by the activities of the logging companies. So far, the interests and rights of forest peoples have not been recognized by the timber industry, although this is in principle required by international agreements as well as national laws.
In the present project, measures and mechanisms are being developed with the help of which a timber company consults the forest peoples concerned in advance. With knowledge of the situation they integrate them into the decision- making process and into forest management.
The company must set the consent of the forest peoples before it can take action. This is intended to harmonize the protection of the forests of the Congo Basin, sustainable development and the preservation of human rights. Large Swiss companies are involved in the forest use of an area of tropical forest that is roughly twice the area of Switzerland. This project is therefore particularly aimed at Swiss companies. This gives them the opportunity to take on a pioneering role in socially and ecologically compatible forest management.