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.



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.


Pastoralism Roadmap Research Questions


Executive Summary

The USAID Artisanal Mining and Property Rights (AMPR) Year II workplan stipulated that under Objective II: Strengthen Community Resilience, Social Cohesion, and Response to Violent Conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) and under Intermediate Result 2.1: Support Inclusive Community Dialogue Especially between Different Religious and Ethnic Groups to Resolve Conflict Over Land and Natural Resources In Compliant Zones the following deliverable: “Develop a roadmap that identifies key research questions and next steps for policymakers, academics, and practitioners to advance understanding and respond to conflicts (Contract Activity 2.1.3).”

The following materials are submitted to demonstrate the advancement of the pastoralism activity under Component II. This report presents the following:

  1. Bibliography of key literature on pastoralism prepared by consultant Dr. Leif Brottem
  2. Pastoralism Roadmap of key research questions guiding field research carried out by sub-contractor Concordis International.
  3. Issues and Questions for a Research Agenda jointly prepared by Dr. Leif Brottem and Concordis International but in consultation with the AMPR project management team.
  4. Roadmap Master Class presentation offered to regional workshops in Nola and Berberati and to a national stakeholders’ workshop in Bangui in early January 2020.

The  Component II activity continues at this time despite the COVID-19 situation. The sub-contractor, Concordis International carried out field work successfully as reported in the AMPR Weekly Updates in February 2020. Research findings are currently being written up for submission on June 30, 2020, but possibly earlier.  Following the presentation of the report to national and regional actors, the AMPR project may decide to invest the resources in working with these stakeholders to develop an inclusive and participatory Action Plan based on these and other findings. The present and future impacts of COVID-19 may substantially influence future policy recommendations and AMPR could play a key part in facilitating these reflections.  However, any follow-up will be spelled out in the AMPR Year III workplan.

1.0 Bibliography on Pastoralism in the Central African Republic

The bibliography of literature on pastoralism in the Central African Republic was prepared by consultant Dr. Leif Brottem to help guide the preparation of the central research questions. The full bibliography is listed in Appendix 1. Field research questions were in part derived from this literature review. Field research will either confirm and expand on these questions or contradict them. The preliminary questions were discussed in stakeholder meetings in Berberati, Nola, and Bangui in January 2020.

2.0 Pastoralism Road Map

The pastoralism roadmap as defined in the USAID AMPR Year II workplan “identifies key research questions and next steps for policymakers, academics, and practitioners to advance understanding and respond to conflicts.” The key issues and questions summarized in Annex 2 were derived from the literature review, as well as discussions held during workshops in Berberati, Nola, and Bangui in January 2020. These questions seemed particularly pertinent to workshop participants, which included representatives of regional and national authorities (ministries, sub-prefects, gendarmery), representatives of pastoralist organizations, MINUSCA, the AMPR staff, and others.

The workshops consisted of two presentations, one by Dr. Leif Brottem through his Master Class presentation on pastoralist issues in West and Central Africa. The second consisted of a presentation by Mr. Peter Marsden of Concordis International on the results of a similar type of research carried out in the prefecture of Ouham-Pendé ( These two presentations were reviewed by participants with interest and many questions.

The workshop discussions generated additional issues and questions which were then integrated into the Corcordis International semi-structured interview guides and questionnaires. The preliminary roadmap questions prepared by Leif Brottem are presented in Annex 2.

Following the presentation of the final research report prepared by Concordis International, the report findings and recommendations will be presented to national government stakeholders and the local multi-stakeholder working groups (Contract Activity 2.1.3). Under the Year III workplan, further activities will be defined in light of the political, institutional and public health situation of the moment.

3.0 Master Class Presentation

The Master Class presentation of Annex 3 was presented to regional workshops in Berberati and Nola in early January 2020. Over 60 participants attended the day-long workshop facilitated by the AMPR Component II coordinator, Dr. Zéphirin Mogba. The presentation attached here was prepared prior to arrival by Dr. Leif Brottem in Bangui, but then subsequently modified after discussions with the AMPR and Concordis International teams. This presentation, as well as review of the work carried out by Concordis International in the Ouham-Pendé region, set the stage for small group discussions divided up into pastoralist interest groups, artisanal miner/farmer interest groups, and government/donor interest groups. Each group presented its own narrative of the realities they confront. This led to a plenary discussion of how narratives structure interpretations of facts with each party trying to construct a story to support its own position and special interests.

The workshop was a key mechanism for the Concordis International team to line up contacts for subsequent research.

This master class presentation was also delivered in Bangui, but to a small group of Ministry of Livestock and Ministry of Mines and Geology staff. The seminar summarized the key points of each of the regional workshops.



Key Findings of Research on the Artisanal Gold Sector in the Central African Republic


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Artisanal Mining and Property Rights (AMPR) project addresses land and resource governance challenges in the artisanal and smallscale mining (ASM) sector, using a multidisciplinary approach and incorporating appropriate and applicable evidence and tools. AMPR began in 2018 and is implemented primarily in the Central African Republic (CAR) for an initial period of three years. While the project focuses on the Kimberley Process and diamond governance, Component 3 includes activities aimed at better understanding the growing artisanal gold sector in the country. This brief summarizes key findings from research carried out in 2019, including a mapping and field survey of artisanal gold mining sites in western CAR conducted in collaboration with International Peace Information Service (IPIS). The IPIS study covered 322 sites, of which 201 were gold sites and 60 mined both gold and diamonds. In addition, the brief draws upon other sources, including an assessment by the non-governmental organization (NGO) RESOLVE on options for responsible sourcing in CAR’s gold supply chain, a study on minerals smuggling conducted by AMPR and the Government of CAR in March 2019, and the annual report on the gold and diamond sector prepared by the CAR Ministry of Mines and Geology.

Gold Production Levels and Methods

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) occurs throughout CAR in 10 of 14 provinces. While it overlaps with many diamondiferous areas, ASGM is more widespread. Due to AMPR’s scope and security considerations, the research only focused on western CAR, where armed group activity is less prevalent than in the country’s central and eastern regions. IPIS estimated that the research covered around 30% of CAR’s active mine sites.

Figure 1: ASGM site in Nakeko, CAR

The average estimated weekly production at the 261 visited sites that produce gold was 35.7 kilograms. Based on previous research by the U.S. Geological Survey and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-UNICEF in 2018, IPIS extrapolated to a national level and estimated 5.7 tons of gold produced per year, assuming 717 gold-producing sites in the country. This figure is higher than the approximately 2 tons estimated by the 2018 UNDP-UNICEF study, which covered more sites in the east but did not conduct in-depth production data collection. By comparison, the country officially exported only 142 kilos in 2018, or around 2.5% of the estimated production.

Site characteristics varied widely, with an average of 10 pits or production units per site. Each pit has an average of 43 workers, and each site an average of 193 workers. Only 10% of pits are large (defined as having more than 50 workers). At least two sites had more than 3,000 workers each. These large sites skew the average number of workers; most sites have 77 workers or fewer, and most pits had 25 workers or fewer. Sites are located both in and along active rivers, as well as terrace deposits and underground mining targeting gold veins. Mining is mostly non-mechanized, with only 6.5% of sites using metal detectors and 1.5% of sites using hammer mills or other mechanized mineral extraction or processing equipment.

Figure 2: IPIS Interactive web map

The number of people directly working in the visited gold mines was estimated at 45,000, around one-third of whom were women. However, women were present at 83% of sites visited. Extrapolating nationally, IPIS estimated that there are between 150,000 and 200,000 people working directly in the ASM (including diamonds) work force, fewer than the approximately 300,000 people estimated by UNDP-UNICEF in 2018. IPIS estimated that the average weekly earnings per worker were between $9.45 and $11.77,1 not taking into consideration food allowances and other forms of pre-financing. As part of its sub-contract with AMPR, IPIS designed an interactive web map2 that visualizes and compiles all data from the field research, including pictures of each site.





Analyse de l’Impact des Certificats de Droits de Propriété dans les Zones d’Exploitation Artisanale du Diamant au Sud-Ouest de la RCA

Resume Executif

L’objectif du projet Droits de Propriété et Artisanat Minier (DPAM) financé par l’USAID en République Centrafricaine (RCA) est de renforcer la gouvernance des ressources naturelles et des droits de propriété des hommes et femmes dans les communautés minières, à travers une approche multidisciplinaire incluant des pratiques et outils ayant fait leurs preuves. Pour développer et implémenter des activités autour de la formalisation des droits de propriété et de la gouvernance des terres dans les zones d’exploitation minière artisanale, le projet USAID DPAM veut s’inspirer de l’expérience du précédent projet Droits de Propriété et Développement du Diamant Artisanal (DPDDA). Le projet DPDDA a mis en place entre 2007 et 2012 un processus de reconnaissance des droits coutumiers de propriété sur les chantier miniers, appelé initialement Certificats DPDDA visant à documenter et formaliser les droits fonciers coutumiers des artisans miniers tout en établissant une base légale de droits légitimes, réduire les conflits autours des chantiers miniers et créer une meilleure visibilité et traçabilité autour de l’artisanat minier de diamant.  Un total de 1380 Certificats DPDDA ont été délivrés au terme d’un processus de participation volontaire des artisans miniers et une validation publique faite au niveau des villages dans la Lobaye, Mambéré Kadei et Sangha Mbaéré, reconnaissant et clarifiant l’appartenance des parcelles de terres à vocation d’exploitation minière à des chefs de chantiers bien identifiés. Toutefois, une ambigüité persistait sur le rattachement juridique de ces documents au terme du projet DPDDA, car il n’est pas clair qu’ils aient été délivrés en vertu de la législation foncière du Code minier. Le Ministère des Mines et de la Géologie (MMG) s’est initialement opposé à cette innovation rendue nécessaire par l’importante demande clarification des droits individuels ou collectifs sur les chantiers miniers pour éviter des conflits.

L’étude d’impact des Certificats conduite du 1er  au 25 juillet 2019  a porté  sur les objectifs suivants :

  • Évaluer la perception, les effets et l’utilité des Certificats de droits de Propriété délivrés par le projet DPDDA I sur la protection des droits des artisans miniers et la gestion des conflits.
  • Analyser les ambiguïtés juridiques autour des Certificats au regard de la législation minière et des réalités des arrangements fonciers coutumiers.
  • Elaborer des recommandations pour la définition et la mise en œuvre des activités d’appui à la formalisation des droits individuels des artisans miniers et pour l’amélioration de la gouvernance foncière dans le secteur de l’exploitation minière artisanale et à petite échelle.

L’étude a utilisé une combinaison d’analyse documentaire et juridique du contexte de la formalisation foncière en zone minière, avec des entretiens semi-structurés de 125 artisans miniers provenant de 8 villages (64 hommes et 7 femmes), étant bénéficiaires et non bénéficiaires des Certificats, et avec les autorités minières déconcentrées de Boda et Nola. L’équipe a fait des interviews avec un village contrôle (Bomandoro) qui n’avait pas participé dans la certification et ensuite deux villages récipients (Mboulaye 2 et Mboulaye 3). Des résultats préliminaires ont été analysés lors d’un atelier de réflexion sur les options de formalisation des droits de propriété au regard du cadre juridique national avec les principales parties prenantes des différentes institutions gouvernementales impliquées dans la gestion foncière au niveau national.


La pertinence et l’utilité des Certificats et des informations contenues sur les différentes versions sont avérées pour la reconnaissance des droits fonciers des artisans miniers et la gestion des conflits ; cependant les ambiguïtés existent sur des questions de formes, l’administration des certificats, et le rattachement légal.

  • L’expérience menée par le projet DPDDA visant à délivrer des certificats de droit de propriété à certains artisans miniers a permis la mise en place d’un outil simple de constatation des droits des artisans sur les parcelles exploitées.
  • Les Certificats DPDDA ont permis de manière générale de clarifier l’appartenance et /ou l’occupation individuelle sur des parcelles de terres à vocation d’exploitation minière à travers un processus communautaire participatif et transparent d’identification du propriétaire de la parcelle, de clarification des modes d’acquisition de cette parcelle et de validation publique faite dans les villages.
  • Le processus de validation publique devant les autres artisans miniers et les chefs de villages et de groupe ont conféré à ces documents un caractère général et une reconnaissance locale forte des droits coutumiers sur les chantiers.
  • Les Certificats ont grandement permis de déterminer les limites des chantiers miniers en anticipant sur les conflits ou en résolvant les conflits qui se sont posés sur ces parcelles. Les communautés et les autorités des mines l’utilisent encore actuellement comme preuve de propriété dans la résolution de plusieurs cas d’empiètement sur les parcelles ou de transfert des chantiers à des tiers ; aussi bien les chefs de village que les Chefs de Service de Mines reconnaissent que la possession de certificats est un avantage réel lorsqu’ils sont saisis pour résoudre des cas de litiges.
  • Les certificats ont contribué au renforcement de la conformité avec le processus de Kimberley. Les activités de sensibilisation autour des Certificats ont grandement contribué à la sensibilisation des artisans miniers sur la nécessité d’obtenir des documents miniers pour être conformes à la chaîne légale de production du diamant que les miniers devaient toujours payer la taxe obligatoire « patente » et autres autorisations d’exploitation minière. Les messages de sensibilisation sur le fait que le certificat n’est pas un document minier a servi entre autres facteurs de catalyseur pour l’acquisition de la patente pour plusieurs artisans miniers. Presque toutes les personnes interviewées savaient quelle documentation obtenir pour un artisan minier.
  • Plusieurs ambiguïtés liées aux termes utilisés dans les deux versions des documents de formalisation, principalement les termes « Certificats de droits coutumiers » et « dossier de droits » , et à la procédure de mise en place de cette activité ont été notées.
  • Pour la quasi-totalité des personnes interviewées y compris l’administration minière aux niveaux déconcentré et central, le processus et les Certificats qui en ont découlé sont considérés comme une activité et un document du projet DPDDA : les institutions des mines ne l’ont utilisé ni pour suivre la production et la commercialisation du diamant ni pour suivre et encadrer les artisans miniers.
  • Il n’existe pas au niveau local des registres clairs listant les artisans miniers ayant reçu les certificats, ni des procès-verbaux de validation du processus.
  • Aucune demande de Certificat n’a émané des artisans miniers après le projet DPDDA et l’administration minière n’en a pas délivré. En outre, au vu des circonstances de crise de 2013 ayant entrainé la fermeture inopinée du projet DPDDA, il n’y a pas eu une transmission encadrée et effective des compétences et des technologies au ministère des mines pour le suivi effectif du processus.
  • Les Certificats ont été abordés comme des documents de reconnaissance de la propriété foncière gérés par l’administration minière, le mettant dans une posture non conforme aussi bien à la loi foncière qu’à la loi minière. En effet, les Certificats DPDDA semblent ne pas trouver une base juridique, permettant de rendre légal et plus utile, leur usage par les artisans miniers. Il existe un vide juridique dans les textes miniers sur la prise en compte des droits coutumiers des artisans sur les parcelles qu’ils exploitent. Ni le Code Minier ni son Décret d’application ne définissent de manière non équivoque les modalités concrètes de formalisation des droites de propriétés d’un artisan minier vertu de la coutume ; de même, ces textes restent muets sur comment un artisan minier peut le cas échéant, faire prévaloir ses droits coutumiers de propriété, s’ils sont reconnus comme étant antérieurs au processus d’octroi d’une autorisation d’exploitation artisanale sur une zone donnée.


Les recommandations sont élaborées pour informer le projet USAID DPAM pour une poursuite des activités de formalisation des droits fonciers des artisans miniers entamées par le DPDDA selon des modalités adaptées au contexte actuel dans un court terme pouvant aboutir à des réformes dans le moyen terme.

Dans le court terme 

  • Renforcer l’engagement entre le projet USAID DPAM et le gouvernement centrafricain dans le cadre d’une convention à consolider les acquis du projet et continuer la délivrance de ces documents de formalisation des droits fonciers des artisans miniers à titre pilote dans une ou plusieurs nouvelles zones.
  • Reformuler le document de formalisation en « attestation locale de reconnaissance de parcelle minière » (intitulé suggéré), délivrée à un artisan individuellement ou collectivement à travers une coopérative minière comme début de preuve de l’usage de telle ou telle parcelle par l’artisan minier ou la coopérative. Un tel document continuera à renforcer les droits des artisans miniers sur les parcelles, et à jouer un rôle clé dans la réduction des conflits sur les parcelles et à donner une position favorable aux artisans miniers pour la négociation avec des exploitants semi industriels ou industriels de plus en plus nombreux dans la région. Cette approche aurait l’avantage de se conformer aux textes en vigueur en attendant la mise en place de nouvelles dispositions sur l’exploitation minière dans le pays.
  • Réviser le formulaire de documents de formalisation des claims miniers en insérant une carte de localisation de la parcelle, fournissant des informations sur la taille, les zones minées, les zones non minées, les parcelles voisines, et les utilisations. Sous PRADD I, les données de localisation SIG étaient enregistrées pour chaque fosse sous le contrôle d’un mineur artisanal, mais pas les limites, car les appareils GPS de l’époque n’étaient pas assez précis. Les limites de la frontière ont été convenues entre la communauté et les mineurs voisins grâce à un processus de consultation publique. En l’absence de litige, le claim était considéré comme exact. Le même processus pourrait utiliser des technologies basées sur le GPS et des tablettes, comme celui mis à l’essai en Côte d’Ivoire sous PRADD II pour cartographier les plantations de noix de cajou ; à partir de là, une documentation foncière a été préparée, générant un formulaire précisant les droits fonciers et les limites générales. Étant donné que la précision du SIG a considérablement augmenté, il devrait maintenant être plus simple de cartographier les limites. Cependant, des normes de précision et d’exactitude doivent encore être négociées avec le ministère des Mines et de la Géologie, mais compte tenu des limites technologiques, ces limites ne doivent pas être d’une précision extraordinaire. Les relevés GPS à eux seuls ne sont peut-être pas assez précis pour satisfaire les autorités, mais comme précédemment testé dans le cadre du PRADD I, les accords entre villageois sur les limites des revendications sont extrêmement précis. Ce qui compte, ce sont les accords communautaires. La mise en place de ce cadastre au niveau du village pourrait contribuer à la réflexion sur la manière de développer et de reproduire le processus à plus grande échelle.
  • Intégrer la formalisation comme une approche générale de gestion des parcelles minières et à vocation minières ainsi que les relations entre les différentes parties prenantes dans les Zones d’Exploitation Artisanale minière (ZEA). Les informations physiques, coutumières et géographiques sur les documents de formalisation permettront une meilleure administration des ZEA, avec une reconnaissance des espaces avec superposition d’autorisation et de permis et de suivi par l’administration minière de la production de diamant dans les ZEA en comparaison des produits déclarés.
  • Documenter systématiquement le processus aussi bien au niveau local que national pour utiliser les leçons apprises pour renforcer l’appropriation locale et assurer la réplication du processus si nécessaire.

Dans le moyen terme 

  • Engager des discussions sur la réforme de la législation minière pour prendre en compte les éléments liés au droit de propriété coutumier des artisans miniers, lequel droit pourrait découler d’un héritage, du travail investi ou d’un achat. Cette question apparait incontestablement et essentiellement comme relevant de la responsabilité du Gouvernement, même si quelques partenaires pourraient lui apporter leur concours afin de parvenir à cette fin.