Programme Paper

Sam Lawson
Greenpeace environmental activists hold up a banner reading 'Forest Crime Scene' near allegedly illegal Wenge wood from Congo on 1 July 2013, Horni Pocaply, in the Central Bohemia, Czech Republic. Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images.Greenpeace environmental activists hold up a banner reading 'Forest Crime Scene' near allegedly illegal Wenge wood from Congo on 1 July 2013, Horni Pocaply, in the Central Bohemia, Czech Republic. Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images.

This paper is part of a broader Chatham House study which assesses illegal logging and the associated trade. The study, which began in 2006, measures the nature and extent of the problem, and the effectiveness of the response by both the government and the private sector in a number of producer, processing and consumer countries. 

  • There are serious governance problems across the forest sector in the Republic of Congo, with up to 70% of all logging activities thought to be illegal.
     
  • The government’s response to the problem has been poor, although a number of improvements to the regulatory and legislative framework have been seen in recent years.
     
  • The conclusion and implementation of a Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the Congolese government and the EU has been a key driver of change, along with the establishment of an independent monitor for the sector.
     
  • Further governance improvements will be necessary as a means of strengthening enforcement of existing legislation, tackling corruption and improving legality in the artisanal sector.
Download paper in French: L’exploitation illégale des forêts en République du Congo