A doctoral thesis on the rights of local communities put to the test of environmental protection

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Kinshasa, June 12th, 2021 (CPA).- The head of work Jean Claude Batebua Adikey was proclaimed Thursday doctor of law at the University of Kinshasa (UNIKIN) with the mention « the greatest distinction » at the end of the defense publication of a doctoral thesis entitled: « Rights of local communities put to the test of environmental protection: contribution to the study of Congolese environmental law ».

The recipient said he tried to demonstrate through this doctoral dissertation, very clearly the causal link between the exercise of customary land rights and the disruption of the natural biological balance.

He said that activities such as agriculture, burning practices, and deforestation inevitably lead to soil scarcity, deforestation, erosion, etc.

Likewise, he continued, mining operations in the basement lead to all forms of pollution of the air and water sources with harmful consequences both on human health and on biological species ( the fauna and the flora). This gloomy picture signified the applicant, dictates the need to consider all-out legal regimes which not only will make it possible to contain these harmful effects, but also to acquire the consequent criminal sanctions in this matter, in other words. he said, the establishment of a real Congolese criminal law of the environment which is currently sorely lacking.

« It is a vital imperative, » he stressed.

This thesis recommended in particular strategies to fight against global warming, a new model of governance and effective environmental management, taking into account several axes including participatory management by integrating local communities and their needs, the regeneration of environmental funds and the implementation of the legal arsenal in this area.

The DRC, which has significant forestry potential and extraordinary biodiversity, will have to gain in strategies to combat global warming, he said.

Dialogue and consultation of the various actors involved in environmental management

This thesis highlighted the sustainable management of the soil and the subsoil which would involve consultation and dialogue between the various actors concerned, namely: the State, concessionaires (land, forestry and mining) and local communities, the protection of the environment in the face of the implementation of customary land rights, which, according to him, would involve the reduction of poverty and the change of habits, the exercise of certain surface rights would have harmful consequences on the environment.

He also underlined the fact that the access of local communities to financing could be facilitated through the establishment, at the national level, of an ecological fund intended to encourage activities likely to contribute to the reduction of the effects on the environment. environment.

The Congolese state, said the candidate, will have to articulate development and environmental protection as two inseparable variables in an ecological ethical approach based on the coexistence of man and nature.

This thesis was fully appreciated by the promoter and co-promoter of the said thesis, respectively Professors Bakandeja wa Mpungu and Kangulumba Mbambi, the president of the jury, Pr Toengaho Lokundo and the secretary of the jury, Pr Ntungila Nkama and Professors Sakata Moke Tawab and Beya Siku as members of the jury.

The academic session was chaired by the Academic Secretary General of UNIKIN, Prof. Eustache Banza Nsomwe, on behalf of the Rector. ACP/