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Payment for Ecosystem Services in the Congo Basin: Filling the Gap Between Law and Sustainability for an Optimal Preservation of Ecosystem Services

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Sustainability and Law

Abstract

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is involved in the implementation of an international Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) (UNEP: Developing international payments for environmental services: a technical discussion (Background Paper), 2006) mechanism, namely “Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in the developing countries and the conservation, sustainable forest management and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks in the developing countries” (REDD+). However, the laws of the DRC are insufficient to achieve a sustainable PES and REDD+ implementation. Based on indicators on land tenure security, classical conditions of contracts, 3E+ REDD+ criteria and measures on conservation and restoration, this chapter analyses the laws related to PES in force in the DRC in order to obtain a more sustainable preservation of ecosystem services. The chapter focuses on four ecosystem services: carbon sequestration and storage, biodiversity protection, watershed protection and landscape beauty. Several criteria have been applied to assess the potential of the DRC PES laws to promote a sustainable preservation of ecosystems and ecosystem services. A first set of well-known criteria are the 3 E+ REDD+ criteria, which entails that to achieve a successful REDD+ implementation, the REDD+ project should be effective, costly efficient, equitable and bring co-benefits. Effectiveness refers to the achievement of environmental goals. Cost efficiency means that the project should attempt to reach the environmental goals through reasonable financial means. Equity fits with the inclusive capacity of the project. Four co-benefits are distinguished, namely biodiversity conservation, governance, adaptation of climate change and improvement of social conditions. Secondly, this chapter refers to classical contract conditions from French and Belgian Civil Law inherited by Congolese Civil Law. These conditions are the consent of the parties, the capacity of parties, the existence of an object and the legal purpose. Thirdly, the chapter refers to the indicators on conservation and restoration measures and on land tenure security (property right titles and clear borders). The chapter demonstrates that there is a need to update or enforce the existing laws related to PES applied in the DRC in order to increase the preservation of ecosystem services. The chapter argues that the transformation of the existing laws would positively influence the implementation of SDG 13 and 15.

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Ntirumenyerwa Mihigo, BP., Cliquet, A. (2020). Payment for Ecosystem Services in the Congo Basin: Filling the Gap Between Law and Sustainability for an Optimal Preservation of Ecosystem Services. In: Mauerhofer, V., Rupo, D., Tarquinio, L. (eds) Sustainability and Law. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-42630-9_32

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-42630-9_32

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-42629-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-42630-9

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