SOCIAL POLICY IN FAVOR OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES
The Forest Industry of the Congo (IFCO) is committed to adapting its logging practices so as to preserve the rights of use and traditional know-how of local communities living in and around all its concessions. It has internally developed documented mechanisms that promote the participation of these local communities in forest management.
Before the start of the operation of a five-year Development Block, a social clause with the entire socio-economic infrastructure to be built for the benefit of communities is made in accordance with regulations. Annually, before the opening of a cutting area, communities are consulted, forest resources on which they depend are identified as sites, habitats and landscapes of cultural, archaeological or historical (HCVs 5 and 6). Participatory mapping and ground raids on mixed teams (members of the IFCO community and teams) are used to locate these HCVs on operating cards and take management decisions aimed at maintaining high values identified. A harvest control system including the monitoring of its high conservation values is also implemented to evaluate their management. The various sites of Community interest identified as well as their management are sanctioned by a memorandum of understanding governing their management by the company and the communities.
Every quarter, each group concerned with the exploitation felling is consulted and exchanges on social performance of operations are discussed, community complaints are also collected and brought solutions to grievances. In case of conflict for breach of the MoU, discussions are initiated to find a consensual and participatory manner acceptable and sustainable solutions for the affected community.
To formalize our interactions with communities, several social procedures are formed, validated by the Directorate-General and disseminated :
- Consultation and participation of local communities’ management procedure;
- Conflict management procedure ;
- Supplying construction equipment for social clauses infrastructure procedure.
To contribute to the development of local communities we provide a free transport for both of people and goods, from Kinshasa to the operational sites and vice versa. During recruitments we prefer to give priority to the local workforce like young competent people from local communities.