A pioneering project to transform the lives of people in the Congo rainforest has secured a funding boost of £1.4million.
The University of Wolverhampton will work in five Congo Basin countries with the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) as part of the project.
The £1.4m funding has been awarded to the University’s Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID).
University experts will support forest governance with partners in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo on the project for the next three years.
The project was launched in 2017 when CIDT secured funding of £5million from the European Union.
New match funding to the project from the UK Department for International Development will support partners to collaborate with the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) to ensure effective engagement and response from forest law enforcement agencies, law makers and judiciary.
The next phase of the Citizen Voices for Change (CV4C) project will be launched in October with a workshop in Congo Brazzaville.
Dr Aurelian Mbzibain, Programme Manager for the Citizen Voices for Change project, said: “We are delighted to have secured £1.4m from the Department for International Development for this important project in the Congo Basin.
“The aim of the project is to work in partnership with local organisations and communities to ensure private sector companies are working within their contracts and operating within EU timber regulations governing deforestation and legal exports.
“The new element of the project with partners Interpol focuses on effective engagement and response from forest law enforcement agencies, law makers and judiciary in national forest policy processes.
“This is a strategic new project component which will strengthen the role and visibility of the project and its partners in the region as champions of good forest governance.”