Reseau Ressources Naturelles this week publishes an analysis of legal problems in the forest sector, as part of the Making the Forest Sector Transparent programme, based on extensive field research in four provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The report (available only in French) analyses dozens of social agreements signed by logging companies since a new law was passed in 2010, and is the most thorough examination of this process published to date. It shows that the social agreements in logging concessions have often been negotiated hurriedly and without respecting the legal norms, and in many cases payments to communities for social projects are seriously behind schedule.
The report also analyses the disorder in the artisanal logging sector. It finds that permits are handed out by authorities at various levels often to loggers with industrial machinery. The forestry laws are being breached on a number of counts, and the impacts of logging on local people is often negative.
The report offers detailed recommendations for addressing these issues. It is a valuable resource for those working on forest issues in DRC, as well as companies seeking to source legal timber from the region.