Over the last twenty years, forest concessions have undergone major changes in the Congo Basin. They have made undeniable contributions to the sustainable management of forest massifs and have made it possible to overcome the states’ limited management capabilities. They have also ensured that the timber sector remains sustainable and increases its contributions to economies and to local growth.
Thanks to an awareness campaign and major international debates, distributors (and to a lesser extent consumers) and certain importing States (for their public procurement) are now concerned about the origin of the timber they buy and the conditions under which this timber was produced. In order to ensure that producers are adhering to a legal and sustainable management approach, independent certification systems attesting to proper forest management and legality have been implemented.
There are two types of certification :
Certification that attests to the timber’s legal origin :
- VLO/VLC (Verification of Legal Origin/Compliance) de Rainforest Alliance.
The SGS office has terminated its TLTV (Timber Legality & Traceability Verification) programme, whose last certificate in Central Africa expired at the end of 2015.
Certification that attests to sustainable management :
the only one that is operational in Central Africa is FSC. After a strong period of growth in terms of FSC-certified areas between 2005 and 2013, which contributed to a significantadvance in Central Africa compared to the Amazonian basin, certified areas have been stagnating in recent years.