The Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (RFGI) is a $3 million 3-year research and training program, focusing on environmental governance in Africa. The RFGI is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and executed by the Council for the Development of Social Sciences Research in Africa (CODESRIA), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC). The RFGI is coordinated by four co-directors, Ebrima Sall (CODESRIA), James Murombedzi (CODESRIA), Edmund Barrows (IUCN), and Jesse Ribot (UIUC). The research team included three postdoctoral fellows, and 34 researchers working in 12 countries. These countries are: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. The initiative is also training young, in-country policy researchers in order to build an Africa-wide network of environmental governance analysts.
Nations worldwide have introduced decentralization reforms aspiring to make local government responsive and accountable to citizen needs and aspirations so as to improve equity, service delivery and resource management. Natural resources, especially forests, play an important role in these decentralizations since they provide local governments and local people with needed revenue, wealth, and subsistence. Responsive local governments can provide forest resource-dependent populations the flexibility they need to manage, adapt to and remain resilient in their changing environment. The RFGI therefore focuses on enabling and strengthening representation of forest-based rural populations within local-government decision making. RFGI aims to enhance and help institutionalize widespread responsive and accountable local governance processes that reduce vulnerability, enhance local wellbeing, and improve forest management with a special focus on developing safeguards and guidelines to ensure fair and equitable implementation of the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and climate-adaptation interventions.
REDD+ is a global Programme for disbursing funds, primarily to pay national government in developing countries, to reduce forest carbon emission (UN-REDD 2009:4). REDD+ will require permanent local institutions that can integrate local needs with national and international objectives. The results from RFGI Africa research will be compared with results from collaborators in Asia and South America in order to enhance RFGI comparative scope, and to broaden its geographic policy relevance. More information on the RFGI can be obtained from the documents in the links below.
RFGI Newsletter Vol 2.1 - April 2012 (PDF, 949.4 kb)
RFGI Newsletter Vol 1.1 (PDF, 1.3 Mb)
Summary of the RFGI programme (PDF, 433.1 kb)
Résumé du programme RFGI (PDF, 204.3 kb)
Manuel de recherche sur le choix et la reconnaissance (PDF, 1.1 Mb)