The World Bank and the Congo Forests

Open letter to the World Bank

Publication - June 25, 2010
On 3rd December 2009, just a few days before the Copenhagen Climate Conference, Greenpeace, Global Witness and the Rainforest Foundation delivered an open letter to the World Bank criticising its role in the forest sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo - home to the second largest rainforest in the world.

The letter denounces the failure of Congo's multinational logging companies to adhere to basic standards of legality and transparency while continuing to flout the rights of local communities.

  •  In January 2009, a "legal review" of logging titles in the DRC was completed. The World Bank states on its website that cancelled titles are "now void" and "logging operations had to stop." However, Greenpeace and other civil society groups have evidence that certain companies have continued their operations in violation of national law.

  • In September 2009, local women in Equateur province blocked passage of logging trucks of Sodefor, a subsidiary of Congo's largest logging company, the Liechtenstein-based Nordsüdtimber Group, protesting the broken promises of the company.

  • Our exchanges with around 50 representatives from forest-dependent communities around Bumba in Equateur Province on November 16th and 17th again revealed that local people are systematically being kept in the dark about the fate of their forests.

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