In October, RRI supported a dialogue held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the potential social and environmental impacts of the government’s planned expansion of agro-industrial parks—a core component of the country’s approach to national development. Only one pilot case, the Bukanga-Lonzo park covering a total of 80,000 hectares, has become operational. However, there are significant concerns that these parks will have negative impacts on nearby local communities—many of whom depend on their lands and other natural resources for their livelihoods. The dialogue provided a space to discuss lessons learned from the Bukanga-Lonzo case, and led to the establishment of a multi-stakeholder committee to monitor future projects. The Prime Minister praised the dialogue as a key platform for including community concerns in its plans to develop further agro-industrial parks.

Read a report from the workshop (in French) here.