The Congolese constitution recognizes the
crucial role of civil society organizations in contributing towards the
education of its citizens and to development more broadly. However a proposed
"Ministerial Decree Regulating the Registration of Non-Governmental
Organizations and Environmental Associations" could open the way for
restricting and undermining this important role of NGOs, abolishing constructive
critique and alternative views emerging from civil society.
Historical evidence and experiences have
time and again confirmed that non-participatory and non-transparent approaches
to development and environmental policies not only fail, but often lead
to further and intensified conflicts.
Global Witness, along with other international
environmental NGOs, therefore wrote to the Congolese Minister of Environment,
Nature Conservation and Tourism to express our deep concern about the proposed