The Access Initiative

Democratic Republic of Congo




Environmental Democracy Index Score

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) received fair scores on both the Participation and Justice pillars, and a poor score on the Transparency pillar. The score for the Transparency pillar was the lowest of the three because while there is an established right to access environmental information on request, there is no obligation for the government to proactively disclose environmental and public health information to the public. For the Participation pillar, there are strong rights to participate in decisions impacting the environment, and the law provides opportunities for participation at an early stage. However, government agencies have discretion whether to seek public input in the preparation of legally binding environmental decisions. For the Justice pillar, there is broad legal standing in most proceedings concerned with environmental matters. However, there are no assistance mechanisms to ensure marginalized groups, such as women and the poor, are able to overcome barriers to justice. By addressing these issues, the DRC could ensure that the people are provided with more information pertaining to the environment, stronger participation rights, and a greater ability to obtain redress when their environmental rights are violated.

Visit the Environmental Democracy Index to explore the EDI score.

The Democratic Republic of Congo was the second French-speaking country in Africa to have conducted a TAI Assessment, being the first to be produce in French. The assessment found that DRC did not have any coherent environmental policies, posing a challenge to uphold its Principle 10 commitments. It also produced many recommendations, specifically the development of a national environment policy and reinforce capacities concerning environmental protection.

CODELT was one of the major contributors to the DRC TAI assessment and leads the TAI Coalition in the DRC. Since then, the work of TAI members in the DRC seeks to effectively use the 2009 framework law on the environment, which was adopted by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee of the Congolese parliament. This law created important opportunities to improve access to information, public participation, access to justice and capacity building.

CODELT is a non-governmental organization committed to independent and impartial expertise and initiatives related to the legality, traceability and participation in the governance of natural resources and finance and the rights of local communities, who are often victims of unjust systems of access to natural resources.