I’m Mr Pepin Mugisho Benedict(Ben), a lawyer interested in ecologic and natural resources management. Currently I’m the land rights protection manager for the International Rescue Committee in the Eastern DR Congo. We are working on Integrated Resources Management Project.
The context is actually complex with many resource-related conflicts between many communities over access to natural resources, including land, water and forests. being a member of this platform could help me to share experience and learn more from others around the world about land protection and other related resources management issues.
The demographic presser on natural resources is currently a very big issue in Eastern Congo. The country has been receiving refugees from other countries (Rwanda, Burundi, CAR, South Soudan, …) looking for resources for their survival and that of their cattle. this situation has always been at the root of conflicts between farmers and herders, but also between local communities that consider themselves indigenous and others as foreigners. the country’s laws on land access for some social groups of people are very old and no longer meet the current needs of the population.
State power has been very weak and has not been able to bring sustainable solutions to the land problems in eastern DR Congo. This has been at the heart of many wars and instabilities that have shaken the country since the years 1996 until now.