Republic of Congo - State of play of the private forestry sector 2019

Publication of the final report of the study.

Within the framework of the FLEGT REDD CERTIF Programme activities implemented by ATIBT and financed by the EU, FFEM and KFW through PPECF, a study was carried out in the Republic of Congo with the support of the consultant Mr. Ngoya Kessy.

This study, launched in May 2019, was finalized in December 2019.

This study takes stock of the state of play of private sector actors in the forest and wood sector in Congo. The general objective of this study was to improve knowledge of the Congolese private sector. This study also made it possible to set up a database of actors in the forest-wood sector according to different criteria (type and area of activity, size, place in the production chain, level of unionisation, involvement in the FLEGT VPA process and in certification, etc.).

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With some thirty operational companies, the forestry sector is the second largest employer after the public service, it contributes to the opening up and development of the hinterland and represents a very important, dynamic and constantly changing economic sector. It generates a significant number of direct and indirect jobs in services in both rural and urban areas.

The average area allocated per operator is almost 400,000 ha, with wide disparities. The managed and unmanaged forest concessions constitute the areas of forest allocated to logging and industrial forestry actors; in 2019, they represented a total area of 14,352,959 ha, or 96% of all production forests in Congo. 8,166,230 ha, or 56.9%, are currently under management, and 4,687,495 ha, or 32.7%, are unmanaged. The area of forest concessions under management is 901,780 ha.

In order to ensure the legal exploitation of forests, the Congolese government and the European Union signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) on 17 May 2010. This agreement was ratified on 04 July 2012.

Some companies have chosen to move towards forest certification since the early 2000s. The pioneers were CIB and IFO. The first FSC certificate was issued to CIB in 2005. Today, the total area of FSC-certified forests in Congo is about 2.5 million hectares, allocated to the same companies. Other certifications have been in place since 2010, an FSC controlled wood certificate, and legality certifications OLB (Bureau Veritas) and LS (Nepcon). The companies Thanry, Mokabi SA and Taman have certified their concessions using these systems.

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