The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to the large majority of the world's second-largest rainforested area, an area that plays a vital role in maintaining the global climate. But corruption and a lack of political will are among the reasons why these forests are increasingly under threat and why a potentially valuable resource continues to be squandered.
The country’s logging sector is in a state of organised chaos – a chaos to a large extent engineered by officials and companies for their own benefit. Chief among the companies wreaking this havoc is Cotrefor, a Lebanese-owned company that has been logging in the country since 2011. Greenpeace Africa spent two years investigating Cotrefor’s logging concessions and the operations therein as well as tracking how its timber is traded and exported to the world’s ports. The results of these investigations reveal a shocking record of employee mistreatment, unpaid taxes, rampant irregularities in operational procedure with regards to felling trees and exceeding allocated quotas of endangered species such as Afrormosia that are permitted to be logged.
Please note: This report was corrected on the 16th of June. The previous version erroneously stated that the Spanish company Troncos y Aserraderos Tropicales is trading in timber from the DRC based company Cotrefor. References to the company have been removed.