Congo at work on National Wetland Policy
Swiss Grant for Africa: Congo outlines its national wetlands policy
In the framework of the Ramsar Swiss Grant for Africa, the Congolese government received a subvention from the Ramsar Secretariat to reactivate the Convention implementation in the country and prepare the outline for its National Wetlands Policy (NWP).
The Administrative Authority of the Convention in the country, the General Directorate of the Environment, has set up a multidisciplinary team to outline the NWP together with a National Action Plan to facilitate its implementation.
The outlined document follows the steps recommended in the Ramsar Handbook #2 (vers. 2004) on NWPs' preparation and includes the following:
- Background Review - historical context, actions to date;
- Definitions - of wetlands and terms to be used;
- Wetlands Types of Congo:
- Overview - a look at the nation's wetland resources and their economic/social and environmental values;
- Role of the National Government - in the context of constitutional jurisdiction and planning authorities;
- Role of Partnerships - with other levels of government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector;
- Constraints in Wetlands Management in Congo
- Goal of the Policy;
- Guiding Principles
- Specific Objectives;
- Policy Strategies and implementation.
Moreover, it globally describes the climatic, anthropogenic and institutional threats to the wetland ecosystems in the country.
It's important to underline that the National Action Plan for Wetlands Management in Congo (PANGZHC) is scheduled to start in 2008 with a duration of five years. In fulfillment of Ramsar Resolution IX.14, it will contribute to the wise of wetlands, the well-being of the communities, and poverty reduction in rural and urban zones.
A national inventory will serve as the basis of the whole process and will be prepared to narrow down more precisely the problems linked to wetland management in Congo in order to maintain their ecological, cultural, social and economic functions for sustainable development.
The project total cost is FCFA 597.000.000 (910,120 EUR) of which 10% would be provided by the Congo Government and the remaining sum would be raised with funding agencies.
While assuring the Government of Congo of its support, the Secretariat would like to congratulate Congo and invite the other states parties to pursue Resolution VII.6 and its annexes on National Wetland Policies..
So far, the following countries have initiated and/or completed their NWPs: Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.