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DRC called to cede 40% of the area tax to the provinces and territories

17 April 2013

The government of the DRC should "cede 40% of the area tax to the provinces and territories", says advocacy platform RRN which represents members of environmental civil society organisations.

"This is to maintain the moratorium on new forestry allocations, control logging on the ground and apply penalties, to reallocate 40% of the area tax to the provinces and territories to develop community forest concessions, to popularize the Forest Code and to adopt implementing legislation," said the RRN coordinator Joseph Bobia at the weekend.

DRC called to cede 40% of the area tax to the provinces and territories

Following its review, the "2012 report card", and the "state of play of the negotiation process of social clauses and artisanal logging in the DRC" RRN judged the sector as "insufficient" in its report on governance and transparency in the forest sector in DRC. Furthermore, it says, "despite significant progress in the publication of forest concession contracts, this remains incomplete".

"Effective forest governance is slowed by dysfunction between the central government and the provinces, the lack of 'admissibility' and the refusal to make public certain information on forest governance. Improving the livelihoods of local communities depends largely on the proper management of forest resources," lamented Joseph Bobia.

In addition to the "20 key indicators of transparency" established by civil society to monitor governance and transparency of the sector in the DRC, RRN is concerned that threats "still persist about the explosion of the misuse of artisanal logging permits".

He hoped that the social clauses signed between loggers and indigenous communities mean they are "prepared to work together until the completion of the community works by logging companies".

The degree of transparency

The publication information of these reports, received financial support from the British Department for International Development (DFID), through the international NGO "Global Witness," but the information is an internal study soley undertaken by RRN.

The studies depict the real situation regading law enforcement by stakeholders in both industrial and artisanal logging sectors, and RRN states that "the information is intended to enable civil society, governmental authorities and the private sector to get an idea of ​​the degree of transparency in the forestry sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo".

Meanwhile in Bandundu province, the area manager of Kapia (Idiofa Territory) denounced "the illegal logging that weakens the environment and does not benefit the community in Munkenambel and Bangoli."

"These undentified loggers carry logs and planks without being checked by the Environment Service on the Kasai River, bordering the province of Bandundu", said Armand Itaranyam last week. He pointed out that "non-compliance with legal texts is not only a loss to the state, but also causes erosions and global warming".

DRC called to cede 40% of the area tax to the provinces and territories
Source: Le Potentiel Le Potentiel
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