The agreement was signed in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on 24 April 2015 by Henri Djombo, Minister of Forest Economy and Sustainable Development, and Kim Carstensen, Director General of FSC. In it, the parties agreed to cooperate in the following areas:
- Promoting FSC-certified timber and products on international markets
- Promoting certification schemes for forest management and chain of custody certification on the basis of FSC standards
- Informing identified stakeholders about sub-regional, regional and international markets for wood and wood products, and forest certification, especially FSC certification
- Adapting FSC certification standards and auditing procedures to be locally relevant
- Capacity building among stakeholders, particularly in the field of forest certification
- Mobilizing funding from various donors so that joint projects may be implemented.
This cooperation agreement will contribute to the implementation of the sustainable forest management policy, adopted by the Republic of Congo in 2000, in which sustainable management of forest concessions and improving forest governance constitute strategic priorities.
The implementation of the first management plans developed under the program of forest management, launched by the Ministry of Forest Economy and Sustainable Development in 2001, has led to the certification, under FSC certification scheme, of almost 2.5 million hectares, representing 50 percent of FSC-certified forest area in the Congo Basin.
The Government’s target, in line with the end of the National Development Program 2012–2016, is to develop all forest concessions (i.e. about 11 million ha), and to have 50 percent of these concessions certified.