The ÉRAIFT (ÉCOLE RÉGIONALE POSTUNIVERSITAIRE D’AMÉNAGEMENT ET DE GESTION INTÉGRÉS DES FORÊTS ET TERRITOIRES TROPICAUX / REGIONAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL FOR INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING OF TROPICAL FORESTS AND TERRITORIES) is a regional school that operates under the auspices of UNESCO (as a Category 2 Centre).
It is funded by a number of financial partners that include: the Democratic Republic of Congo, the European Union, the Kingdom of Belgium, UNESCO, the Japanese Cooperation through the ITTO and RIFFEAC, the FAO, Wallonia Brussels International since 2010 and the Awac since 2016, the University of Liège Centre for Partnership and Cooperation, Belgique Pacodel - Ulg, the BAD and CEEAC through the PACE- BCO (Programme d’Appui à la Conservation des Ecosystèmes du Bassin du COngo - Congo Basin Ecosystem Conservation Support Programme) since 2010, the US Forest Service (USFS/USAID), the GIZ through RIFFEAC. The school’s originality is its inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary, participatory, comprehensive and integrated approach, i.e. a systemic approach. The school provides quality third cycle education to students who have completed three, four or five years of university studies in various fields. Since 1999 to date, 243 students have graduated, of which 226 for the DESS and 17 for the doctorate or PhD of which 5 in co-diploma. Given the institutional reforms at the School, the DESS has evolved to 3 new Masters (two professional Masters and a Research Master) in accordance with the LMD system, thanks to the support of the School by the experts University of Liège and institutional collaboration of several ERAIFT partner institutions in Central Africa, including the University of Dschang, the University of Yaoundé I, the Garoua School of Fauna, the Ecole Nationale des Eaux and Gabon Forests, USTM/ Gabon, Kisangani University, etc.). It is organized for 24 months with a common core the first year. Currently 19 doctoral students are in doctoral training and 42 student candidates are registered in the masters programme. ERAIFT students come from diverse professional backgrounds, with enriching and complementary experiences, and many countries including 7 from Central Africa, 13 from West Africa, 2 from the Indian Ocean; Haiti, etc. The school has also opened up to Anglophone Africa. Its faculty comes from various academic and research institutions including the Royal Museum of Central Africa (RMCA), the National University of Benin (Cotonou), the University of Dschang (Cameroon), the University of Kinshasa (DRC), The Catholic University of Congo (DRC), the University of Paris East - Marne la Vallée (France), the University of Liège (Ulg, Gembloux Agro- Bio Tech, Belgium), the Notre Dame de la Paix Faculty in Namur (Belgium), the CNRS (France), etc.