FSC-certified Forest Area in the Republic of Congo Has Increased

FSC / Milan Reška
FSC / Milan Reška
April 28, 2020
Category : Standards

Finally, some good news in these difficult times! In total, over 2.9 million hectares of forests are now FSC certified in the Republic of Congo.

Timber logging company Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB)-Olam recently obtained a new FSC forest management certificate for its Mimbeli-Ibenga concession in the north of the Republic of Congo. With this new certificate, all CIB-Olam commercial operations are now 100 per cent FSC certified.

Mimbeli-Ibenga is CIB-Olam’s fourth concession to become FSC certified in the north of the Republic of Congo. CIB-Olam received its first FSC certification in 2006 for its Kabo concession, and it was actually the first FSC certification to be achieved in the Republic of Congo. With this fourth certificate, the total area of natural forest responsibly managed by CIB-Olam reaches 1.829,525 hectares.

A subsidiary of the leading food and agri-business company Olam International, CIB has been operating in the Republic of Congo since 1968. Its operations are headquartered in the town of Pokola, in the northern region of the country. CIB’s legacy of 51 years is solid proof of its successful operations, enriched experience, and wealth of knowledge about the Congo Basin, which has enabled it to attain long-term partnerships in the region.

Forest Elephant
Vincent Istace, Forest Elephant

The Mimbeli-Ibenga concession covers 650,000 hectares – including 119,934 hectares made available to local populations for their subsistence (e.g. to collect plants, fish or hunt). The concession counts more than 290 inventoried tree species. It also has over 33 species of mammals that include iconic and threatened species such as elephants, chimpanzees and gorillas. These species will now be particularly protected by the FSC principles related to wildlife protection. Additionally, CIB-Olam is keeping another concession in Pikounda as a permanently protected conservation area. The Pikounda concession is also part of a UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, plus conservation and sustainable forestry (REDD+) Project. The aim of the project is to conserve and monitor the forest area for the 30-year project period, while maintaining and protecting its biodiversity.

Harrison Kojwang, FSC Africa Regional Director gave comments on the news: “In the Africa Region, CIB-OLAM leads a new approach to wood-based economic development model in the Congo Basin, which combines responsible harvesting and secondary processing. The FSC Africa Programme applauds and supports this approach.”

There are now more than 5.392 million hectares of certified forest in three countries of the Congo Basin: Cameroon (341,708 ha), Gabon (2,061,190 ha) and the Republic of Congo (2,989,168 ha).