Pastoralism in Transition: Evolving Economic and Social Dynamics Between Livestock Herders, Farmers, and Miners in South-West Central African Republic

Executive Summary

The Artisanal Mining and Property Rights (AMPR) project in the Central African Republic (CAR) supports the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Land and Resource Governance Division in improving land and resource governance and strengthening property rights for all members of society, especially women. It serves as USAID’s vehicle for addressing complex land and resource issues around artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in a multidisciplinary fashion. The project focuses primarily on diamond and, to a lesser extent, gold production in CAR, as well as targeted technical assistance to other USAID Missions and Operating Units in addressing land and resource governance issues within the ASM sector.

Ever since the early days of the Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development (PRADD I and II) projects, the issue of the role of various forms of livestock production in diamond mining areas of CAR has surfaced in the project sites in the southwest regions of the country. While participatory rural research carried out over the years has often highlighted the complex interactions between artisanal mining and livestock production, no in-depth analysis has examined the nuanced relationship that different groups of herders have with armed groups, artisanal diamond mining, and farming communities. This report is based primarily on survey instruments and summaries of quantitative data, supplemented by qualitative analysis through focus groups and semi-structured interviews, to assess the nature of the interactions among these three livelihood groups and whether the relations are symbiotic, hostile, or predatory.

The research agenda explored the mechanisms that exist locally to provide security and to manage conflict, and from this foundation, identified locally owned and realistic recommendations these livelihoods groups themselves proposed to promote peaceful collaboration with desired mutual benefits for all. For this reason, this summary of field results presents the voices of those often not heard, including women and nomadic pastoralists. It does so without making value judgments on the merit of their opinions, but to ensure they are considered in decision-making that affects their communities. The format for this report is somewhat different from more classical presentations. Evocative and direct quotes from respondents are peppered throughout this report as a way for the respondents themselves to narrate realities. Results from the analysis of data from questionnaires complement the quotations from local actors.

Definitional questions abound when referring to those raising livestock in the southwest. Ethnic groups known by the labels of Fulani, Peulh, FulBe, and Mbororo raise cattle and small ruminants and traverse the territory. It is often difficult to distinguish among labels used for herders such as “semi-settled,” “semi-nomadic,” “transhumant,” and “foreign transhumants.” This report uses the term “semi-settled” and not “semi-nomadic.” The defining feature of this latter group of semi-settled livestock raisers is not their movement, but that the majority of the people (including most of the elderly, the women, and the children) have chosen to settle in one place. The settlement pattern matters for reasons of nationality, the sense of belonging to a place, and access to education and other public services, as limited as they might be in CAR. That said, populations of long-distance herders, referred here as “transhumant pastoralists,” herd their livestock across national borders and often along seasonal tracks, or corridors, in search of pastures and water.

Case study sites were selected from across six sub-prefectures in the southwest prefectures of Sangha-Mbaéré and Mambéré-Kadéï. The sub-prefectures of Nola, Carnot, and Berberati are Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) compliant; Bayanga, Sosso-Nakombo, and Gamboula are not KPCS compliant, so diamonds extracted and sold from these places are viewed as conflict diamonds. The team conducted field research during the dry season from January through February 2020. The field research team consulted with 834 people through high-level workshops, focus groups, and individual interviews. The research team spent much time in many rural communities, traveling by motorcycle where possible to villages and herder camps. The team often slept in the village or herder encampments as a way to gain trust and confidence from the respondents.

Southwestern CAR is crisscrossed by many commercial trade routes that support both farming and livestock production but also trading linkages with national and international markets. Sub-soil resources also consist of rich deposits of diamonds and gold, often located in and along the many rivers and streams of this tropical landscape. Historically, various types of symbiotic relationships have brought mutual benefits and social goods to farmers, herders, and miners through inter-community trade and mutually beneficial social interactions.

The southwest has long been characterized by instability as expressed through significant banditry and intercommunal violence. Armed groups have variously sought to provide security, protect their kin, or prey on the population. Ever since the 2012/2013 takeover of the country by the Seleka forces, local self-protection groups, called now the anti-Balaka armed groups, emerged in the southwest to respond to the predations and violence associated with the Seleka coalition. Over the years, other armed groups, called Siriri and 3R (Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation) came into existence, ostensibly to defend herders from aggression from anti-Balaka. While this report does not go into these complex shifting alliances, suffice to note that complex webs of social and economic grievances characterize relations on all sides. The attached bibliography provides background literature on this subject.

There is clear evidence that, whether or not they supported 3R in the past, most herders are now preyed upon by 3R and do their best to avoid them. This includes semi-settled herders in CAR and foreign transhumants from Cameroon and Chad. At the same time, a small minority of herders are more supportive of and openly reliant upon 3R; it is important for researchers to understand why that is.

During the 2012–2015 crisis, the semi-settled herders long living in CAR and those undertaking traditional cycles of seasonal transhumance between the north and the south of the country were displaced, but now are gradually returning. This presents many challenges, such as competition over pasture zones that were abandoned during the crisis, but up until the 1960s territories had been reserved by national law and administrative fiat for pastoralists. The field research carried out for this study concludes that the root cause of many contemporary conflicts in the southwest is the growing occupation of these pasture zones by those now using the land for farming, diamond and gold mining, and settlements. To compound this growing competition over resources, “new” transhumants—herders from other parts of the country, Chad, and Cameroon—are also keen to graze their livestock in these rich pastures and associated plentiful sources of water for livestock.

The findings from this field research suggest that a nuanced approach to conflict management in southwestern CAR is needed to respond to these complex social dynamics, themselves rooted in the environmental setting of rich pasturelands and plentiful water. Unfortunately, the southwest is characterized by many polarized reactions to perceived injustice and this has led to a wildly swinging pendulum of retribution by many parties to deep-seated conflicts. While there is much scope to kindle or renew mutually beneficial collaboration built on generations of interdependence, solutions must be locally owned. Outsiders, including government and donor agencies alike, must accept these realities in all their complexity.

The field research showed that at least 50 percent of the herder respondents report having been attacked by 3R, 15 percent by anti-Balaka groups, and 5 percent by unnamed armed groups in the 12 months prior to the research. At least 50 percent have been victims of cattle rustling and at least 25 percent have been taxed illegally by either an armed group or the authorities. The costs of these predations are high. As the local authorities in Carnot said, “When 3R arrive in the village, they tell communities, ‘Don’t be scared, we won’t hurt you; we’ve only come for the herders.’” The majority of herders are caught in the middle of a difficult situation; they are preyed upon by 3R armed groups while also facing suspicions from artisanal miners and sedentary agricultural communities for being in collusion with the 3R.

The forms of predation are many, but the 3R requires herders to pay for protection against cattle theft. A herder with 100 head of cattle may have to pay as much as 150,000 XAF ($260) and/or one or two cattle every couple of months to the 3R. Livestock raisers claim this is extortion and they try to vary their routes to try to avoid this payment to the 3R wherever possible, often at great personal cost. Yet when attacks from anti-Balaka and others occur on the herders, livestock raisers inform the 3R.

Most herders are not involved in the diamond trade and have no personal or commercial engagement with miners beyond limited sale of milk and meat.  That includes most foreign transhumant pastoralists from both Cameroon and Chad. That said, a small minority of herders seem to be involved in the diamond trade. This includes some owners of large herds, who commission people to extract or procure diamonds for sale to traders in Cameroon.

When livestock raisers are asked about the root causes of insecurity, more than 50 percent of all respondents cite the presence of armed groups as a factor; over 60 percent cite weak state presence, poverty, and porous borders as factors. Respondents suggest that the presence and status of armed groups is a symptom of these three factors, but not the principal cause. As a result of this perception of insecurity, several respondents called on an armed group if they deemed it necessary for their security, as they do not believe the state security forces can protect them. The field surveys indicated that 6 percent of farmers and 19 percent of artisanal miners admit reliance on anti-Balaka self-defense groups for security, and 5 percent of herders admit to relying on 3R for protection from anti-Balaka groups and other groups involved in banditry.

The 3R is a signatory to the Khartoum peace process and it portrays itself as the defender and protector of herders. The organization has sought to impose itself as the broker of disputes between farmers and herders, especially around the contentious issues of crops damaged by livestock and stolen cattle. The 3R has broken away from the Khartoum process, its leadership is fragmenting, and it  remains a potent military threat to the Mission de Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en Centrafrique (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic [MINUSCA], the UN peacekeeping force) and the Forces Armées Centrafricaines (Central African Army [FACA]).

The 3R is not the only armed group situated in the southwest, nor are they the only ones preying on herders, artisanal miners, and farmers. Since the narratives surrounding each of these armed groups are so polarized and complex, it is best to step back and look at the situation more broadly. It seems that armed groups will seek to fill any vacuum created by an absence of trusted and competent state services and security forces. The field research suggests that rural communities facing predation from whatever source will search out protection from an armed group in situations where the state is unavailable or predatory; where mechanisms of conflict mediation and resolution are non-existent or biased; and where banditry, livestock theft, and other forms of extortion are rampant. Notwithstanding—or perhaps because of—all of these realities, a small minority of herders are more supportive of and openly reliant upon 3R, whether for protection or as part of criminal enterprises, including illegal diamond smuggling into Cameroon. While rumors abound that livestock herders are involved in extensive diamond smuggling, this does not appear to be widespread. Among the 800 people consulted during the field research, only three respondents admitted first-hand knowledge of herders engaging in the diamond trade with Cameroon. While there is evidence of what is likely diamond smuggling, there is no evidence that this occurs widely

Interventions which focus exclusively on armed groups and diamond smuggling give too much airtime to a mostly male criminal minority and fail to address the needs of women and others who are seeking to make their livelihood without recourse to violence.

Information gathering around an illegal activity like diamond smuggling is fraught with difficulties. While many artisanal diamond miners admit to selling diamonds for export to Cameroon, these same respondents note that this illegal diamond trade damages relations with their collector patrons. The study could not go into depth around this question, a complex set of issues addressed much more thoroughly by other studies carried out by the USAID AMPR project. That said, while it is clear that herders have capital that could be used to finance diamond trading, capital appears to be most frequently invested in reconstituting the livestock herds. Herders are trying to rebuild their herds that were severely diminished by predation in recent years. The price of livestock sold for meat in rural markets is very high, an indication of the scarcity of livestock. The reconstruction of herds is most likely a much higher priority for livestock raisers than entering into risky transactions around diamonds. That said, it appears that a minority of seasonal transhumance pastoralists may be financing what is probably the illegal mining and trade in diamonds.

There is currently very little social integration between settled communities and semi-settled herders, and even less with transhumant herders.  Well managed and peaceful transhumance needs to yield very visible benefits for all communities.

Focusing excessively on the role of livestock raisers in the diamond trade feeds into the victim-narratives that fueled the 2012–2015 crisis, which fomented a coup and caused the flight of people, cattle, and capital from the region. The priority should be placed on recognizing the role that livestock herding brings to the rural and regional economies that, if taxed fairly and properly, would help generate the state revenue needed to provide state services and security. Another vital issue is to focus on the plight of female herders, who suffer from minimal access to health care and other services. The decapitalization of the livestock herds in the southwest due to the years of predation is demonstrated by the field research data that showed that less than half of the farmers in the areas studied raise livestock and very few keep cattle. In effect, the field research suggests that terms of trade between farmers and livestock raisers are generally not equal. Farmers are more dependent on the sale of goods to herders than the purchase of goods from them. This indicates that capital flows from herders to farmers through unequal terms of exchange, but with cross-border transhumance pastoralism providing capital flow into CAR from neighboring countries.

The field research team concludes from the rich field observations that diversification of livelihoods and access to markets is critically important for the promotion of household resilience to economic shocks. Currently, many opportunities are being missed to strengthen trading relations between livestock herders and artisanal miners. From the perspective of peacebuilding in the conflict-ridden southwest, creating greater interdependence between different livelihood systems (a hallmark of the past symbiotic relations) would generate many peace dividends.

Recommendations to Promote Peaceful Relations for Mutual Economic Benefit

As is expected from any intense field research period, several recommendations for policy and action emerged throughout the extensive discussions and interviews with the respondents. These recommendations represent the points of view of the respondents and are touched upon in greater detail in the body of this report. These are summarized and categorized below.

Recommendations Addressed to the CAR National Government: Provide clear guidance on local dispute resolution processes, including: an agreed tariff of damages awardable; a schedule of fees chargeable for arbitrating disputes; guidance on who are the appropriate authorities responsible for dealing with different criminal and civil grievances; and a whistleblowing mechanism to report corruption and other abuses of power.

Clear guidance is needed on the processes for registration of transhumant pastoralist herders, including the filing of route plans and appointment of a named person to inform the local and traditional authorities along that route, and the negotiation of arrangements for the arrival of herders. The government should put in place a clear and transparent system of taxation of herders, both semi-settled and transhumant, that specifies benefit distribution at the municipal, local, and village levels. The authorities could play a key role in setting up a collaborative decision-making body to determine the future status of the designated pasture zones, issuing bold and clear decisions about the status of structures that block the cattle corridors.

Recommendations Addressed to Local and Traditional Authorities: Engage in the swift resolution of outstanding cases of restitution of homes of livestock raisers occupied by others. Improve collaborative and community engagement in the management of the Dzanga-Sangha National Park, including compensation for farmers whose crops are destroyed by wild animals.

Recommendations Addressed to the Security services of FACA, MINUSCA, and the Gendarmes: Mount patrols along agreed migration routes, particularly at known flashpoints and border crossings, and to protect technical services.

Recommendations Addressed to the Fédération Nationale des Eleveurs (National Federation of Livestock Producers [FNEC]) and Government Technical Services: Put in place formalized dialogues between livestock herders and others to negotiate access to pastures and livestock migration corridors. Ensure low-cost access to technical services, including veterinary services, along livestock migration corridors and particularly at border crossings. Promote security-marking of cattle, whether by branding or by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips to establish ownership. Require abattoirs to verify ownership of livestock before purchase.

Recommendations Addressed to International Organizations: Promote training in mediation and arbitration techniques for traditional and local authorities, women, and young people. Provide training and support for livelihood diversification, including fisheries and veterinary services, while improving producer access to markets.

Diagnostic Report on Diamond Smuggling in the Central African Republic

Legal exports of rough diamonds from the Central African Republic have declined considerably since the start of the military-political crisis of 2013. While a certain proportion has always left the country without following the KP’s legal chain of custody, this did not represent a major part of production. In 2018, legal exports were 11,526 carats, or 3% of the 365,917 carats exported in 2012, while production continues in all diamond areas. Indeed, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, the five (5) zones authorized by the KP to export produced 164,000 carats in 2017, or half of the national production estimated at 330,000 carats. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the difference between current exports and historical and estimated production represents the volume that is smuggled out of the country.

Smuggling has become dominant and involves a wide range of actors: legal buyers only declare part of their purchases, illegal buyers trade diamonds openly in the provinces and in the capital, internal flights transport diamonds from areas controlled by armed groups, and networks at the Bangui international airport facilitate fraud. The objective of this study is not to map all the smuggling routes, but a significant part of the smuggling passes through Cameroon via land borders and regular flights from Bangui.

The diagnostic study aimed to gather perspectives from stakeholders and experts on how smuggling has exceeded legal exports and how to reverse the trend. Although funded by the AMPR project, the study was carried out jointly by project specialists, officials from the Ministry of Mines and Geology and the Kimberley Process Permanent Secretariat. This approach aimed not only to uncover the key drivers of smuggling, but also to build consensus at the technical level on strategies and changes to be considered by the Government and international stakeholders. As such, the study’s approach aimed to help improve policymaking and identify priorities for external engagement.

The report is organized around three groups of factors explaining the current situation. The first factor is difficulty implementing the KP Operational Framework for the resumption of exports of rough diamonds from the CAR, adopted by the Kimberley Process in 2015. The objective of the KP with this Operational Framework was to alleviate pressure on the CAR, which depended heavily on diamonds for tax income and rural livelihoods, by allowing a partial resumption of exports from areas meeting certain criteria. However, the Operational Framework is not working. Not only do diamonds from areas under the control of armed groups easily enter the global supply chain, the KPCS chain of custody has collapsed. This is in part due to a fundamental incompatibility between the requirements of the Operational Framework and the realities of the supply chain organized around purchasing offices operating with tight margins and high working capital requirements. However, this failure is also due to the institutional weaknesses which existed long before the suspension of the KP in 2013, but which have worsened since the crisis began.

The second group of factors concerns changes and dysfunctions in the rough diamond supply chain. The KP Operational Framework is one of the main causes of these dysfunctions, especially with regard to the lack of funding and the departure of major buying houses, but it is not the only problem. The effects of inter-communal violence in the western regions, leading to the displacement of Muslim buyers in Cameroon, is a factor still being felt as many buyers continue to buy from the other side.

There is also the effect of breaking the “social fabric” of the supply chain. Indeed, the supply chain relies on complex socio-economic relationships and unspoken rules about roles and benefit sharing. Today, the system is marked by risk aversion, mistrust and confusion of roles. Artisanal miners are less inclined to accept prices offered by those who finance them because they know the “real” price paid by smugglers. In addition, everyone is heavily in debt, so the little funding that goes into the system is misused. Likewise, former buyers from buying houses with access to international markets have become collectors. They asphyxiate local collectors without access to markets abroad. More generally, international trends are contributing to the reduction of margins and the evolution of practices. The emergence of gold mining is also impacting the availability of labor for diamond mining and has created new challenges.

The third group of factors concerns impunity for smuggling and the prevalence of other illegal and fraudulent activities. Although fraud has always been a problem in CAR, it has reached a turning point where it has become almost the norm. The more contraband increases, the more difficult it becomes to circumvent it. Before the crisis, at least some of those found at Bangui airport attempting to smuggle diamonds were arrested, thanks in part to the financial benefits derived by the agents carrying out the seizures. Today, the question arises as to why no smuggler in recent years has suffered consequences for their actions, a fact which shows ineffective controls and the power of trafficking networks.

By analyzing these different factors, the diagnostic study aimed to identify practical solutions at all levels. For the KP, a serious debate should take place on the viability of the Operational Framework, in particular the obligation to remotely verify the packages each month before export. In addition, serious consideration of the use of diamonds seized by the Central African government or other countries is necessary otherwise the fight against smuggling will be in vain.

For the Government of the Central African Republic, officials should see this as a rare opportunity to rethink their supply chain system, especially with regard to how artisanal miners are organized, data is collected and used, and the institutional role of the Kimberley Process Permanent Secretariat. With regards to the supply chain, consultations with purchasing offices and external experts are needed to reassess fees and taxes and the organization of actors.

However, no change will occur without the strict minimum of law enforcement, in particular at Bangui airport, but also with regard to the protections granted to traffickers or semi-industrial actors illicitly operating as cooperatives. International trafficking networks require special attention. Nevertheless, the starting point for reversing the trend should be law enforcement by the Central African Government, because until tangible efforts are made, the legal supply chain will remain weak and the Government will not be credible in its efforts to get the KP to completely lift the suspension.

More generally, CAR could benefit from an in-depth dialogue on the mining sector, perhaps in the form of formal policy dialogue like those organized in 2003, especially taking into account the 2019 Khartoum Accord and semi-industrial mining activities and the gold mining that are growing rapidly. The dialogue will help build buy-in for reform, generate technical ideas, and most importantly, restore confidence in the supply chain, which in the end is not about the stones, but about people—their lives, their livelihoods and well-being. Smuggling of rough diamonds therefore touches on fundamental issues of governance in CAR and should be seen as a priority and an opportunity to contribute to the broader process of peacebuilding and economic recovery.



Community Land Administration Analysis: An Approach to Sustaining Community-Based Land Rights Documentation in Mozambique and Zambia


This report was prepared under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Integrated Land and Resource Governance Task Order (ILRG) under the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights II (STARR II) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. In it, ILRG recommends an approach to sustain community-based land rights documentation through land administration services catering to customary and local communities in Zambia and Mozambique. The recommended approach involves establishing shared community land administration services. The key innovations of this approach are a centralized or shared maintenance database to warehouse data from community-based land management processes and simple tools for communities to use to update the data and receive updated records. The technology platform and related services can be shared across communities at various levels of aggregation – most likely nationally or regionally. Generically, community land administration services reflect the core elements of the vision of Associação Rural de Ajuda Mútua (ORAM) and Terra Firma for a “People’s Cadaster” in Mozambique.1 This report explains the recommended approach and why it makes sense for USAID to support under ILRG.

The purpose of this report is to test approaches for sustainable, scalable land administration services for customary and local communities that have legal and socially legitimate authority to document and manage the land and resource rights of their territory or land holdings. In Zambia and Mozambique, the prevailing land tenure in rural areas fits this description. ILRG is investing in a proof of concept activity for land administration services shared across communities. Joint technology platform development for both countries has been considered as an ideal approach; however, timing and the availability of funds from other donor sources in Mozambique makes this unlikely. Nevertheless the two country programs will compare approaches for complementarity and learning. ILRG’s objective is to support affordable access for customary and local communities to services that update and maintain records of their land rights in a manner that is compatible with the public land administration system (LAS). The outcome will be sustainability of first documentation of community land rights (which USAID has and will continue to support under ILRG) and of the benefits of documentation to land rights and resource management.

In this report, ILRG explores the why, what, and how of the recommended community land administration proof of concept, including background and justification for such an activity for Zambia and Mozambique; the conceptual framework within which ILRG’s investment in community land administration is envisioned; and ILRG preliminary design considerations (behavior patterns that define user needs, technology choices, and sustainability). For both countries, ILRG carried out a rapid assessment (see Annex 1 for methodology) of the behavioral norms related to community land management and the range of transactions that are typical.2 A review of existing land administration systems and customary documentation approaches was also conducted in each country. Annexes 2 and 3 characterize the background scenario in each country. Relevant findings are also relayed as the preliminary design considerations are described.



Market Analysis: Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Gold (ASM) from Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

USAID-funded Commercially-Viable and Conflict-Free Gold Program (CVCFG)

The ASM gold market analysis, with a specific focus on the DRC, shall provide information on the current market actors’ interests and the structural and perceived challenges and drivers of trading and/or investing in ASM gold, and specifically ASM gold originating from eastern DRC. As well as reviewing the demand for ASM gold, this report includes a broader analysis of the ASM gold supply chain to define the broader market system and define motivations and barriers at the different stages of gold extraction, trade, sourcing and investment. The key objectives of the market analysis are summarized below.

Mapping the ASM gold supply chain from the DRC

The market analysis looks into the full supply chain, from mine to consumer, to identify the key market actors, how the supply chain works and which inter-connections and roles have to be taken into account when trying to build a commercially viable, conflict-free and responsible supply chain from eastern DRC.

Profile the current market demand for ASM gold

An assessment of the current demand for ASM gold globally, as well as from the DRC specifically, to better identify the factors that contribute to refiners, jewelers and potentially other buyers procuring ASM gold.

Identify motivations and barriers (i.e. trade, financial and market) to sourcing ASM gold from eastern DRC and explore existing solutions

Research into motivations and barriers that currently, or that could potentially, sustain or diminish demand for ASM gold from eastern DRC. This provides insight into the barriers that need to be addressed in order to set up a successful and commercially viable supply chain, and also identifies the factors which can be leveraged as motivators for the different supply chain actors. The next phase of this market analysis includes a deep dive into market failures, which will lead to a more detailed interpretation of these barriers and will focus on identifying solutions that are either already in place or could be developed through the engagement of relevant market actors.

Inform the private sector engagement and marketing strategy of the project and set the context for engaging market actors and stakeholders to implement solutions

This includes engagement with private sector and other relevant stakeholders to raise awareness of the project and collect information on market demand, current behavior and attitudes towards ASM gold.

The market analysis will enable the CVCFG program to better profile and identify supply chain actors and private sector partners to engage in the creation of a commercially viable, conflict-free and responsible ASM gold supply chain. The program needs to work with partners to support and build solutions for trade, sourcing and investment in ASM gold.



Community-based Natural Resource Management in Zambia: A review of institutional reforms and lessons learned from the field


Zambia is one of Africa’s most resource-rich countries. Roughly two-thirds of Zambia’s land area is forested, and nearly 40 percent of the land area is contained within a network of national parks and forest reserves, and co-managed areas that overlap with customary community lands. Rural livelihoods depend heavily on small-scale agriculture, harvesting forest products, and use of wildlife and other natural resources.

Given the close interrelationship between local natural resource use and livelihoods, and management of wildlife and forests on a national scale, community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) is central to both livelihoods and conservation outcomes locally and nationally. Like many countries in southern Africa, Zambia has a long history of working to develop various approaches to forest and wildlife management that involve local communities and attempt to develop various forms of CBNRM. However, for both wildlife and forest management, community management of natural resources has been constrained by key institutional and governance barriers that limit community rights and access to the benefits from sustainable use and related enterprises.

Over the past five years a number of important shifts have taken place in Zambia that are reshaping the potential for CBNRM. A new Forests Act passed in 2015, and subsequent community forest management regulations (GRZ, 2018b), create provisions for community forest management groups (CFMGs) to secure rights for management over forests and capture the benefits from use of forest products. These provisions, though quite recent, are already being used on a fairly large scale in different parts of Zambia to strengthen community-based forest management. In Eastern Province, social enterprises such as BioCarbon Partners (BCP) and Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) are working with communities, the Forestry Department, and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, to develop community forest management on over one million hectares of forests and key wildlife habitats.

Zambia’s wildlife sector is undertaking a number of policy and legal reforms. A new Wildlife Policy (GRZ, 2018a) provides strong language on the importance of devolved community management and empowerment; however, the most recent Wildlife Act (2015) does not provide for significantly enhanced local management rights. Chronic institutional challenges in game management areas (GMAs) created by the lack of community authority and ability to benefit from trophy hunting and other wildlife uses remain in place. Field-level experiments with community game ranching, community trusts, and “conservancies” are working to try and develop new approaches to CBNRM at the local or landscape scale, but remain limited by the national legal and policy context in the wildlife sector.

Overall, though, CBNRM in Zambia stands at a potentially important period of reform and innovation, driven largely by the combination of institutional reforms in the forestry sector, growing entrepreneurial efforts to combine community forest management with new forest-based products such as carbon credits produced through REDD+, and ongoing efforts to develop new approaches to CBNRM despite the longstanding institutional constraints in the wildlife sector. Key opportunities to build on these trends going forward include:

  • Increasing cross-learning and exchange from field-level experiments that are applying the new community forest management regulations, or developing new locally-adapted CBNRM models. In particular, integrating wildlife and forest management efforts, as well as devolving responsibilities and revenue streams to communities, is expected to improve outcomes. Learning and exchange across community forest management efforts and wildlife management in the GMAs will be particularly important and will facilitate integrated approaches to CBNRM at the community level.
  • Investing in wider uptake of community forest management and building on the relatively rapid progress made in creating community forestry management agreements to further scale this promising model over the vast areas of forest on customary land both within GMAs and in undesignated “open areas” around the country.
  • Supporting the development of forest-based enterprises at the community scale, from products such as carbon, timber, honey, mushrooms, and others, that can generate sustainable flows of revenue within newly designated community forests. Zambia has the potential to quickly move to the forefront of community forestry in Africa based on the new legal framework created by the 2015 Forests Act, the existing forest-based enterprises already working in key landscapes, and the significant economic potential of forests on customary lands.
  • Promoting learning between field-level initiatives working to develop new ways of engaging communities in wildlife conservation and policy-makers developing new regulations that pertain to areas such as community game ranching. Key legal and regulatory reforms are required to enable greater community-level investment in wildlife management. This has been the case in Zambia for many years, but the continued development of field-level lessons, and the potential willingness of policy makers to consider new reforms, may open the door to new possibilities.
  • Advancing each of the above opportunities is contingent on capacity support for community governance structures, whether community resource boards, CFMGs, fisheries groups, or village action groups. National-level bodies have emerged to advocate as a collective voice for these groups with government and coordinate governance and technical skills development for improved management at the local level.



Supporting Deforestation-Free Cocoa in Ghana Activity Land Use Planning Diagnostic Report



The Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) Task Order under the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights II (STARR II) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract provides support to the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Land and Urban Office in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3/LU). ILRG develops and implements targeted interventions in select USAID presence and non-presence countries, providing technical assistance to improve land and resource governance, strengthen property rights, and build resilient livelihoods as the foundation for stability, resilience, and strong economic growth.


Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire together produce two-thirds of the world’s cocoa. Cocoa plays a critically important role in local and national economies, providing jobs, improved livelihoods and social welfare, expanded tax base, family and corporate income, and foreign exchange earnings growth. However, the long-term viability of cocoa farming is at risk in many parts of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire due to a number of factors, including climate change.1 For many years, smallholder cocoa has been the leading agricultural commodity driving deforestation in both countries. This deforestation increases greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and has a negative impact on biodiversity, soil fertility, and water quality and quantity; affects local rainfall; and threatens farmer livelihoods. In response, the governments of both countries and commodity buyers have made specific commitments to reduce and eliminate deforestation from their supply chains through the creation of initiatives such as the Cocoa and Forests Initiative and the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP) that will sell carbon credits to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.

Declining productivity of cocoa farms represents an additional challenge facing the West African cocoa sector. In Ghana, up to 40 percent of cocoa farms have low productivity and the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) estimates that 700,000 hectares (ha) of cocoa farms need to be replanted. Several challenges to large-scale farm rehabilitation exist. Farmers and communities lack the funding, labor resources, and technical know-how to replant old trees using best practices to rehabilitate old cocoa farms to be higher yielding and more resilient. Many farmers also have insecure land tenure arrangements that prevent or discourage them from replanting old farms and need help to improve tenure security.

The Supporting Deforestation-Free Cocoa in Ghana activity is a partnership between USAID and private sector actors the Hershey Company (Hershey) and ECOM Agroindustrial Corp. (ECOM) to pilot and scale up a financially viable farm rehabilitation and land tenure strengthening model for the Ghanaian cocoa sector. In combination with land use planning, the model will result in reduced deforestation and GHG emissions and increased carbon sequestration in the cocoa landscape, increased cocoa farm productivity and resilience, diversified farmer incomes, and improved livelihoods. Working with the private sector to support viable business models will draw on the resources and expertise of private partners needed to help Ghana on its journey to self-reliance. The theory of change guiding this initiative is summarized in Figure 1-1 (see the attached document).


In late May and early June 2019, a 10-person multidisciplinary team of Ghanaian and international specialists carried out a series of case studies in the four villages of Yirase, Domeabra, Suresu Nkwanta, and Nyame Nnae in the Western Region of the Wassa Amenfi West District and the Asankrangwa Stool. The objectives of the study (see Box 1-1) for each community were to:

  1. Describe the ecological and contextual situation;
  2. Assess the tenurial situation;
  3. Identify the resource governance institutions; and
  4. Assess the opportunities for land use planning in the Wassa Amenfi West District.

The land use planning diagnostic (LUPD) primarily used rapid rural appraisal (RRA) and participatory rural appraisal (PRA) information gathering tools, complemented by a literature review. Information was successfully gathered in the four villages thanks to excellent cooperation with the local communities during an intensive information gathering process from May 24 – June 7, 2019. The data was analyzed and written up in a first draft during a writer’s workshop in Takoradi from June 10 – 14. The key findings are summarized in the sections below. A summary of key information for each of the four villages is presented in Annex A. Annex B presents the schedule for the study. Annex C includes key research questions and associated RRA research tools. The reference list is presented in Annex D.

During the field research, the USAID Communications, Evidence, and Learning (CEL) project carried out a complementary quantitative baseline study in the same four villages. The thematic research topics were defined by the two projects with the intent to provide an overall assessment of the present-day situation upon completion of the respective project analyses. A USAID and State Department team visited the ILRG field work from June 3 – 7, 2019 and provided valuable insights during rich discussions with the land use planning diagnostic team.


The LUPD takes a historical perspective to determine the broad structural factors that have shaped the landscape of the Wassa Amenfi West District from centuries past to the present. Section 2 presents the LUPD’s findings and notes the many interconnected factors, in both ecosystems and social systems, that have profoundly transformed the forested landscape over the centuries. With stunning rapidity, the Wassa Amenfi West forested landscape was shaped by the Wassa peoples largely through their control of the migrant labor force through complex land and labor arrangements from the 1980s to the present, which were complemented by state and private sector investment in a network of roads which facilitated settlement and export of timber and cocoa. From a time when the forested landscape seemed limitless, today the relics of the once-expansive primary forests are now largely situated in a narrow band of primary forest reserves surrounding the Wassa Amenfi West District and the district capital of Asankrangwa. Within these confines, the expansion of the cocoa frontier has largely been arrested, though pressures on the forest reserves are high. The forested landscape is now highly fragmented – best characterized as a mosaic of mixed tree cover of cocoa trees, some overstory of taller trees, and patches of primary and secondary bush-fallow. Thanks primarily to the labors of migrant settlers organized and abetted by the Wassa power elite, the pioneer frontier expansion phase is over.

In Section 3, the LUPD team argues that the conservation and restoration of the forested landscape capable of absorbing significant carbon requires a profound societal commitment by the people of the Wassa Amenfi West District themselves to a multifaceted vision for the future of their own territory. External actors, including donor organizations/activities like USAID and the ILRG Supporting Deforestation-Free Cocoa in Ghana activity, should continue to construct a partnership with local communities to support this journey of environmental rehabilitation and economic and social development. The question may be raised by USAID and others – since there is little primary forest left to conserve, and carbon stocks are low, why invest United States government resources in this landscape? The answer is simple – the environmental and social context in Wassa Amenfi West District is symptomatic of the unfolding drama of tropical deforestation across West and Central Africa. Learning how to work with local communities, the private sector, and government to conserve and restore the resource base is an important challenge for the 21st century.

The LUPD recommends short, medium, and long-term strategies to launch the creation of a new human-derived landscape capable of absorbing carbon while also contributing to the economic development of the Wassa Amenfi West District. As suggested in this diagnostic, a combination of interventions at both the local and national level could go a long way towards creating new incentive packages leading to the emergence of new societal norms and behaviors toward the land. Tweaking policy and legal practices, such as simplifying timber and shade tree registration or working with landowners and tenants to tweak tenancy arrangements, might go a long way to changing the incentive structure. Similarly, the new technical and financial packages being tested by the private sector, like those of ECOM and the farm documentation services offered by Meridia and supported by ILRG, offer new opportunities if proven acceptable to local communities. Yet these measures are insignificant in comparison to broader structural incentives needed in the long term, such as higher farm-gate prices to farmers to reward and off-set labor costs for adopting environmentally friendly farm rehabilitation practices. To bring about the profound changes required to construct a landscape capable of absorbing carbon to some level equivalent to the primary forest is not easy, but not an impossible task.

The foundations of a profound change in consciousness and behavior at all levels of society is in the making. The Wassa landed elite appear to be concerned about the future of their territory and that of future generations. Since the Wassa are the historical holders of land rights to their territory, they determine to a large extent the future of the landscape. The Wassa will be under pressure to negotiate new abunu tenancy agreements with the various migrant groups who now occupy the landscape. With appropriate incentives, the Wassa may impose conditionalities on tenants to protect fallow lands, encourage planting of more shade and timber trees, and adopt other environmentally proactive comportments. At the same time, private land markets will continue to grow, further weakening the power of the Wassa to influence norms and behavioral practices.

International partners of the Ghanaian government and the people of Wassa Amenfi West District, like the ILRG Supporting Deforestation-Free Cocoa in Ghana activity, can contribute strategically to a new environmental and social space. Confronted with extremely limited means, the challenge for USAID is to utilize the limited resources at its disposition in strategic and carefully targeted ways.



ILRG Gender Assessment For Zambia and Mozambique Findings and Recommendations for Gender Integration into Activity Design and Implementation, 2019–2021



Governance (ILRG) program’s Gender Integration Strategy to project objectives and activities in Zambia and Mozambique pertaining to four areas: (1) documentation of customary/community land rights; (2) administration of customary/community land rights; (3) land use planning; and (4) governance of forestry and wildlife resources. The findings of this report will be integrated into each annual work plan and as new grantees and implementing partners are brought onto the project. Each country’s gender advisor will also use this assessment as a basis for their own work planning activities on a quarterly basis. The assessment will be built upon through time, as the management and technical team periodically review the report to ensure that principles and activities are actively integrated. Toward this end, the project works with governments, communities, civil society and the private sector.

The primary source of data for the assessment relates to work that was previously done under the Tenure and Global Climate Change (TGCC) program in Zambia and the Responsible Investment Pilot in Mozambique, which focused largely on customary/community land rights documentation. The assessment is therefore weighted toward this area of ILRG focus. This work builds on gender analysis previously conducted on TGCC activities in Zambia, and land and resource governance more generally in the project areas.1 The assessment is forward-looking, intended to inform practical steps that can be taken by ILRG staff and implementation partners to ensure a robust integration of the gender strategy and to flag urgent and important issues for follow-up. The assessment is limited in scope by time. With only one week in each country, spread between the respective capital cities and three project sites, the assessment team did not attempt to do deep substantive research, but rather to gain enough knowledge as quickly as possible to identify and begin to explore risks and opportunities moving forward. Finally, not every fact or impression captured in the assessment is presented in this report; rather the author seeks to condense findings and recommendations to those of highest priority and potential impact.

Specific objectives of this assessment include:

  1. To gain a more thorough understanding of impediments to women’s equal participation in land and resource governance, and rights to land and resources, within the project communities, and how the project can address these over time.
  2. Using the ILRG gender strategy as a guide, to identify gaps in gender equality in processes and outcomes related to planned project components and activities (with emphasis on the year one work plan), and provide strategies for addressing these.

The year one work plan provides little guidance on how to implement the project objectives in a way that equally includes and benefits both women and men. Per the ILRG gender strategy, access points for working on gender within the work plan are many. The challenge is to identify the combination of channels and approaches that will best foster gender equitable processes and outcomes and, at the very least, ensure that the project does not further entrench gender-biased social norms that continue to keep women and other vulnerable groups in the cycle of poverty. The assessment recommendations take note of the need to balance robust gender integration with efficiency of process.

During the course of the assessment, the project team had an opportunity to discuss in more detail the gender vision for the project, coming up with three working priorities. These incorporate a broad range of project values and guide the substance of this report, particularly the recommendations.

  1. Do no harm. The first objective for the project’s gender-related work is that we do not further entrench existing inequities through project design and activities. Given the high level of existing gender bias related to land and natural resource rights and governance in the project areas, and the lack of specific national expertise on gender in the project teams,2 there is a very serious risk that ILRG and other land rights documentation/recognition/ formalization projects will lock into place a gender-biased cultural approach at a time when cultural and social norms and trends are actually in great flux, due to urbanization, globalization, breakdown of traditional household and community institutions and traditions, and swiftly changing demographic patterns. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is not a passive bystander, but is rather actively engaged in formalizing rights and moving toward commoditization of rights to land and natural resources through ILRG and other programs. What if the outcome is that women are disproportionately locked out of the benefits? What is the impact of that now? In ten years? For future generations? It is of urgent importance to identify at the outset what steps can be taken to mitigate and address these risks.
  2. Support gender champions within the project areas. Some key leaders in both customary and state institutions within the project areas are already committed to gender equitable land and natural resource governance and have been working to strengthen women’s land rights. These include particular chiefs and chieftainesses, headmen and headwomen, leaders of farmer cooperatives, and certain local officials. The project will seek ways to support these champions, leveraging their voice for broader awareness and potential behavior change within a culturally appropriate framework.
  3. Provide space, time, and mechanisms within project areas for positive social changes related to gender to take place alongside project activities, and to be reflected in activities and outcomes. It will be important to make sure that gender-related dialogues around land and natural resource governance are taking place within communities3 that allow for organic shifts and changes around gender to take place, and for these to be reflected in project implementation.

The remainder of the report contains a short methodology section, followed by a section on findings in both Zambia and Mozambique, and concluding with a section on recommendations. The report has two annexes; one on legislative and policy issues for follow-up, and a second on issues for further data analysis.



Gender Assessment of the Wildlife Sector in Zambia



Zambia has a relatively robust legal framework for protecting women’s rights and encouraging community participation in forest and wildlife management through acts and policies such as the National Gender Policy (2014), the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act No. 1 (2011), Gender Equity and Equality Act No. 22 (2016), Zambia Wildlife Act No. 14 of 2015, National Parks and Wildlife Policy (2018), National Forestry Policy (2014), Forest Act No. 4 (2015), and Statutory Instrument 11 of 2018 Forests (Community Forest Management) Regulations. Yet implementation on the ground remains weak, with social norms and structural issues limiting women’s inclusion and participation, particularly within the wildlife and forestry sectors. This report presents a literature review and field assessment of gender issues related to community-based natural resource management in Zambia, examining issues and providing recommendations related to: cultural norms and attitudes; governance; employment; women’s livelihoods and entrepreneurial activities; intersection between wildlife, forestry, and land rights; policy, legal, and regulatory issues; and gender-based violence (GBV) concerns.


It is estimated that 60 percent of rural households rely on forests for incomes, contributing approximately 20 percent of rural household incomes and providing at least 1.4 million jobs nationally (Wathum, Seebauer, & Carodenuto, 2016). Wildlife provides an important source of protein and can be the main source of income in some communities, mostly through illegal hunting and sale of bushmeat. Men focus their efforts largely on activities that have potential to earn high income; for example, the three highest value products, charcoal, timber, and honey (Giesecke, 2012). Women tend to focus on daily subsistence and food security needs, including firewood, fruits, nuts, seeds, roots, mushrooms, plant-based medicines, caterpillars, and grass for thatching houses. Firewood collection in particular, is a reason that some girls leave school early and can place girls and women at greater risk of GBV.


Harmful gender norms are working against women. In all chiefdoms visited, there was a strong cultural belief that men are “strong enough” and women are “too weak” to engage in some of the roles associated with wildlife and forest management, despite women performing equally when given the opportunity. Women who were willing to work in the sector and travel from home faced local stigma, for example being accused of prostitution. Polygamy has made women feel less secure in asserting independence for fear of being sidelined by their husband. These attitudes are not restricted to rural communities, but are pervasive in urban and rural environments alike.

Women’s representation in community governance is very low. Out of the 76 community resource boards (CRBs) found nationally, only four were led by women at the time of the assessment, in part due to few women having resources or social space to run successful election campaigns, family pressure against women taking time away from families to serve, and educational and language requirements. With an increased burden at the household level, women found less time for community leadership (CRBs and village action groups [VAGs]). Women self-selected away from even considering these positions.

Even if elected, women face challenges to equal participation. At the national level, it was single/widowed women, rather than married women, that made it to the top-most level of the CRB structure. When women are elected to local community groups, they rarely occupy positions of authority.

Women’s interests are rarely represented in wildlife governance decisions. When funds come into community resource management, they are often directed to settle a backlog of salary arrears, leaving very little for developmental projects. In some instances CRBs spent funds on projects labelled as “women’s empowerment,” but the projects were not necessarily about women nor did they reflect women’s own priorities. An example of one such a project was the community organized football tournament that was regarded as women’s empowerment project for merely allowing women to take part. Distribution of game meat within communities placed women at risk. For example, safari operators distribute meat from their sanctioned hunts with neighboring communities. However, in some cases delivery results in a free-for-all among community members fighting for meat, resulting in injury and long-standing animosity among community members.

Community wildlife sector employment opportunities are not equitable. The assessment found that the women who had been employed in a community scout role were widely regarded as good and efficient workers. Yet women are not adequately targeted in recruitment, and scout selection is overly focused on physical fitness requirements that are defined in ways that are inherently gender-biased, and are less focused on other important qualities for the job. An example has been the approach in some communities to only select the top finishers in a footrace rather than demonstration of (men or women’s) ability to meet physical requirements, such as running 10km with a pack. When employed, women are culturally expected to carry out additional chores, for example cooking and cleaning, in addition to their hired responsibilities. Female scouts played a role in sting operations for the investigations unit of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife. This role involves luring poachers and spending time with them to gain insight into their activities. The work has created risks of GBV for the scouts involved and requires additional protection measures, which should be more fully factored into these risky operations. GBV is a common problem that has been culturally tolerated within society; as a result, communities underestimate its impact. GBV risks are partly responsible for discouraging women from participating in community leadership.


  • Adopt top-down measures that promote women’s participation and representation, particularly in CRBs and VAGs. Set realistic goals to increase women’s participation and leadership. Review the VAG and CRB election guidelines; while maintaining transparency of the process, simplify the rules of the game and remove costly provisions.
  • Once women are elected into resource management groups, provide training to both women and men and their spouses, to increase knowledge and capacity to address gender issues as well as specific leadership and empowering skills for women.
  • Traditional authorities play an important role in maintaining beliefs and practices and have the power to bring about change. They should therefore be targeted for any meaningful change that will benefit women.
  • Develop and adopt national-level regulations on transparency of all budget processes and systems in CRBs and VAGs that increase chances of women to participate and benefit from the CRB resources.
  • Implement household level interventions on behavior change to encourage more women to seek leadership positions in natural resource management and create male champions to support them.
  • Prioritize women’s political, social and economic empowerment interventions to benefit women within the CRB and VAG structures, such as women’s leadership courses to build confidence, exchange visits or convening for women CRB members in different regions. This includes access to information and skills development opportunities.
  • Create and disseminate awareness on women’s involvement in the wildlife sector. Develop briefs on success stories to tackle cultural attitudes towards engagement of women in the sector. Demonstrate a case for increasing trends on the role of women in law enforcement.
  • Advocate for adoption by the government of specific targets for promoting the participation of women in trainings, recruitment, and for increasing the hiring of women in the wildlife sector by both the government and CRBs.
  • Support the development of strong and gender-inclusive district and chiefdom-wide integrated development planning processes and enforcement mechanisms that consider forestry and wildlife resource use. There is a need to develop a best practice prototype for addressing gender considerations in integrated development plans.



Concept Note on Local Pacts Methodology in the Compliant Zones

Executive Summary

The objective of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Artisanal Mining and Property Rights (AMPR) project in the Central African Republic (CAR) is to strengthen the governance of natural resources and property rights in artisanal mining communities through a multidisciplinary approach that includes proven practices and tools. To develop and implement activities surrounding the formalization of property rights and land governance in artisanal mining areas, the AMPR project builds on the experience of implementing community dialogues that led to the creation of Peace and Reconciliation committees (CLPRs) in the pilot sites of Balégo, Yamalé, Bania, Wapo, Nassolé, and Nandobo in the Kimberly Process (KP) compliant zone of Berberati.

The purpose of this concept note is to spell out the methodological framework used to establish Local Pacts in close collaboration with the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and National Reconciliation (MHANR) in the KP compliant zones, which include Nola, Carnot, and Gadzi. This document also serves as an historical note to explain how and why Local Pacts emerged in the CAR through government policy as well as practice at the local level, and are closely linked to traditional African conflict resolution principles. Under the authority of the CLPRs, the intent of the Local Pacts is to reconstruct social cohesion in diamond mining communities that have become fractured due to the military-political crisis of the past decade. Presently, the Christian and Muslim communities live in fear of one another. Organizing community dialogues seems to be a way to reconstruct peace and solidarity, while also taking into account ethnocultural and religious differences.

The pilot peace-building initiatives, carried out in these sites and put in place through a collaborative approach with the local mining communities, included the active participation of local government actors (sub-prefects, mayors of the communes, local chieftaincies, religious and community leaders, youth associations, women, and returned refugees). These dialogues led to the signing of the Local Pacts, validated by the government and the local communities. In total, six Local Pacts have been ratified by the communities. These agreements are codified engagements negotiated during the community dialogues around the topics noted here:

  1. Administrative and police harassment, including human rights abuses by the Defense Forces and internal security (police, army).
  2. The consolidation of social cohesion between indigenous peoples, indigenous Baka peoples, and non-native and non-indigenous peoples.
  3. The poor governance of forestry and mining royalties.
  4. Conflicts related to the return and freedom of worship of returned refugees.
  5. The confiscation of housing, land, and property belonging to returned Muslim refugees.
  6. Low local participation in covering community health care costs.
  7. The irregularity in the delivery of birth certificates for children by commune mayors.
  8. Violent conflicts related to armed robberies of cattle belonging to Fulani herders by anti-Balaka self-defense groups.
  9. Poor local resource governance.
  10. The incivility of young people and the disregard of the authority of local chieftaincies.
  11. The persistence of insecurity in communities caused by self-defense groups.

The current challenges in the new AMPR implementation sites are around four major areas of possible interventions which may benefit from the creation of Local Pacts. These areas include: (i) the prevention of violent conflicts related to armed pastoralism in the KP compliant mining areas, (ii) good governance of lands and resources, (iii) the search for consensus around the concept of Zones d’Exploitation Artisanal (ZEA) in two or three pilot sites, and (iv) the consolidation of social cohesion and peace in compliant zone mining areas.



Mapping Artisanal Mining Sites in the Western Central African Republic

Produced in Partnership with the Artisanal Mining and Property Rights Project (AMPR)

Executive Summary

This report presents an analysis of the artisanal mining sector in western Central African Republic (CAR) and outlines some of the challenges surrounding gold and diamond mining, trade and export.

From April to July 2019, the International Peace Information Service (IPIS), in partnership with national authorities, carried out a mapping of artisanal mining sites in western CAR. A total of 322 sites were visited in 7 prefectures. Of these, 201 exclusively mined gold, 61 exclusively mined diamonds and 60 mined both gold and diamonds.
In total, the population of workers actively involved in such minerals production was estimated at 62,042 individuals, 28% of whom are women. The study found an average (mean) of around 193 workers per site (median 77). Children under 15 years of age actively involved in production accounted for 11% of workers. IPIS conservatively estimates the total number of workers on mining sites throughout the country to be made up of between 150,000 and 200,000 individuals.

Artisanal mining is a particularly dangerous activity. Eighty-seven people were reported to have died at 42 sites in the 12 months prior to study team site visits, with 1,154 people reported injured at 116 sites in the same period. In addition, 33% of all 322 sites have been the scene of conflict in the last 12 months. In 80% of these 105 cases, such conflict was directly related to mining.

The total weekly production from the 261 gold sites visited amounted to over 35,700 grams in the week preceding the study team visit. Using this figure as a baseline, IPIS estimates the potential annual production from all gold sites in the CAR to be approximately 5,720 kilograms of gold. This estimate does not take into account possible loss of volume through gold purification mechanisms in artisanal smelters prior to export. Nevertheless, the production officially recorded in 2018 would still represent only 2.​5% of the country’s potential production.

Total weekly production from the 121 diamond sites visited amounts to 195.​8 carats in the week preceding the study team visit. On this basis, IPIS estimates the potential annual production from all diamond sites in the CAR could be approximately 187,000 carats. The production officially recorded in 2018 would then represent only 7.​3% of the country’s potential production.

IPIS estimates the minimum income of a worker on both gold and diamond sites to be between USD 9.​45 (median) and USD 11.​77 (mean) for a 5.​5-day working week. This report demonstrates that pre-financing mechanisms play a key role in determining the income of miners on sites. However, the collapse of the formal sector, particularly in diamond mining, has had a significant impact on diggers’ standards of living. As gold sites offer greater predictability of yield, we have seen an increase in both
production and the number of artisanal gold diggers in the CAR in recent years.

Mining in the CAR continues to be characterized by informality and fraud. Over a third (116 sites) of all the sites visited as part of the present sample cited Cameroon as the main destination for their minerals production. The quantity of minerals produced and exported is especially difficult to monitor as production is only recorded on 33.​5% of sites (both formally or informally). The absence of mining administration representatives and purchasing offices near mine sites is cited as the main reason for the export of minerals to Cameroon, with no benefit to Central African communities.