Greenpeace Campaigner in the Democratic Republic of Congo. © Kevin McElvaney / Greenpeace
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Kinshasa, 4 March 2020 – Following reports that the DRC Environment and Sustainable Development Minister, Claude Nyamugabo, signed at least nine logging concession contracts in January [1], Greenpeace Africa joins its civil society partners in calling for their immediate publication as well as for that of all documents associated with their allocation.

The nine contracts, covering a total area of nearly two million hectares, were signed 14 January with two Chinese firms, Congo King Baisheng Forestry Development, founded 3 January, and Congo Sunflower Forestry Development, whose date of founding is unknown.  The concessions in question are in Mongala, Equateur, Bas-Uele, Tshopo andTshuapa provinces. The Minister says the case is one of “transfers” of existing titles. [1]

“Africa’s largest rainforest has never known the transparency it deserves,” says Irene Wabiwa Betoko, Acting International Project leader for the Greenpeace Congo Basin forest campaign. “The Minister must deliver on his promises of transparency and publish on the Ministry’s website before Friday all documents pertaining to these allocations.  Necessary documents include, for each of the nine contracts, the contract itself, the act of transfer concluded between the concessionaires, the request for transfer addressed to the Minister, the former contract, the decree authorizing transfer, and the social agreements with the relevant communities,” says Wabiwa Betoko.

These contracts were signed only weeks after the approval by the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) of the French development agency’s “Program for the Sustainable Management of Forests” (PGDF) in the DRC, a $12 million package whose disbursement appears to have begun.

None of the contracts signed 14 January has yet been published in the Official Bulletin.  A 2011 decree requires publication within 60 days of any natural resource-sector contract.

“The forest isn’t only home to thousands of communities and to a rich biodiversity facing extinction. It’s also a battleground for the future of governance in this country. President Tshisekedi has an obligation to protect the DRC’s law and its forest,” Wabiwa Betoko concluded.

[1] www.environews-rdc.org/2020/02/24/foret-9-concessions-octroyees-aux-entreprises-chinoises-lindignation-de-la-societe-civile/#more-9602

Contact :

Irène Wabiwa Betoko, Acting International Project leader for the Greenpeace Congo Basin forest campaign

Mobile: +243 976 756 102, Email: [email protected]

Tal Harris, International Communications Coordinator for Greenpeace AfricaMobile: +221 774 64 31 95, Email: [email protected]