Greenpeace in August 2005

Excerpt from "Greenpeace Report on the site visit to CIB in Congo-Brazzaville, December 2004" (published August 2005): "...Rather than bringing sustainable development, the current logging system has been for many decades a driving factor for environmental degredation, corruption, social conflicts and poverty..In this highly problemmatic political, social and economic context, Greenpeace does not support any further expansion of logging in the region. Without drastic improvements in transparency and governanace in general in the Congo Basin and in the forest sectors in particular, it is an illusion to hope that industrial logging will bring sustainable development. There currently are few indications that sufficient political will exists - both in African States and at the international level - to implement the reforms required...A reform of the forestry sector will take time. Meanwhile, the logging industry in the Congo Basin is still impacting the lives of millions of people depending of these forests and the many thousands of people depending on the employment generated by the logging sector. Many of the active logging operations are occurring in areas which are very ecologically and culturally significant. Therefore, it is imperative and urgent to drastically improve the environmental and social performance of current logging operations. The FSC is currently the most credible global forestry certification system to guarantee responsible forestry standards. Greenpeace considers the development of FSC in the Congo Basin as one of the tools to help protect biodiversity and the communities depending on these forests. However, FSC is not yet established in any country of the region. It is important that multi-stakeholder national FSC working groups develop appropriate national standards for the Congo Basin. Meanwhile, FSC certifiers working in the absence of such national standards will need to take great care in interpreting FSC's international principles and criteria for forest management..."

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