The company Industrie Forestière du Congo, IFCO, has just obtained on 10 April 2020, a certification of legality issued by NepCon according to the Legal Source standard, for the Alibuku forest concession (forest concession contract n°18/11) and the processing plant in Kinkole on the outskirts of Kinshasa.
IFCO is thus the second member company of the Federation of the Wood Industry (FIB) to be certified. This development can only benefit the improvement of the brand image of the industrial forestry sector in DRC, an image often tarnished by unfair attacks.
It is the result of a strong commitment by this company to good forest management, alongside DRC institutions and local populations. Its forest concessions were among the first to have a management plan in the DRC.
IFCO has embarked on the legality certification process by making substantial investments, by acquiring the necessary means in terms of specialised human resources and by mobilising all its staff. Even before embarking on the certification process, IFCO was implementing its development plans and agreements, known as « social clause » agreements, making a significant contribution to the financing of investments for the benefit of the populations living in and around its concessions. In 2019, for example, concession 018/11 produced approximately 77,000 m3 of logs for a contribution to the Local Development Fund of around US$250,000. All of these infrastructures are visible in the field.
In the implementation of its sustainable forest management policy, IFCO works with renowned partners including the consulting firm FRM Ingénierie, the firm OBBOIS, WWF DRC and many other civil society organisations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
IFCO also benefited from a diagnosis carried out by the PPECF project, on which the company was able to develop its legal compliance action plan.
For Mr. MINGA’S NZINGA, its Deputy Managing Director, « the most important thing is to look in the right direction and move forward ». He assures that « although the environment in which forestry companies operate today is very difficult, we must adapt and work in correlation with the requirements of good forest management, this is our leitmotiv ».
« Obtaining a certificate is part of a medium- and long-term strategy developed by the company. At this stage, we need to prove the legality of our wood. We will also have to work harder on the species to be promoted for high value-added processing that is likely to promote economic profitability, » the Deputy Managing Director explains. He is convinced that certification will bring « A PLUS » not only for his company, but will contribute globally to restore the image of the industrial forest sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo.