Monday, 22 July 2013
Delegation of FSC visits the Republic of Congo
On the invitation of the His Excellency Henri Djombo, Minister of Forestry and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Congo, an FSC delegation led by FSC’s Director General Kim Carstensen and including FSCs Regional Director for Africa, Chris Burchmore and the FSC Global Network Director, Gemma Boetekees, visited stakeholders in The Republic of Congo from 17 to 20 July 2013. The visit by FSC covered Brazzaville and Pokola, centre of the FSC certified forest concessions of Congolaise Industrie de Bois (CIB) of OLAM.
The FSC delegation visited the FSC certified forests of Ndoki, indigenous settlements and eco-guards in Matoto, and the hospital, the sports centre and the industrial zone of Pokola.
Discussions with stakeholders, including Minister Henri Djombo, a delegation of senior ministry officials and the leaders of the Local and Regional Authorities, focused on the positive experiences with FSC certification in the Republic of Congo.
Discussions were also targeted on creating a better understanding among stakeholders in the Republic of Congo of the recent disassociation of FSC from the Danzer Group, causing the suspension of the FSC certification of the IFO concession. FSC confirmed that the disassociation is related to some unfortunate events in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has no connection with any events in the IFO concession. On the contrary, FSC expressed its appreciation of the dedication and tireless efforts of IFO towards sustainable forest management, continuing the forest management operations and audit schedules as planned as if under FSC certification. FSC stated that it was in constructive dia-logue with the Danzer Group regarding the fulfilment of the agreed preconditions for re-association, and confirmed its willingness to make a decision, presupposing the continued positive progress of this process, within a year.
FSC recognises the impressive achievements in the FSC certified concessions in the Republic of Congo towards sustainable forest management. In research areas, as well in the social field, these operations have achieved considerable results and information. Kim Carstensen presented His Excellency Henri Djombo with a Certificate of Gratitude for his continuous support to the development of FSC certification in the Republic of Congo. His Excellency announced his ambition to have all concessions equipped with management plans by 2015.
FSC committed to appropriate communication targeted to the Congo Basin in French, and announced as a first step the launch on 17 July of a Congo Basin website in French (https://congo-basin.fsc.org/index.htm). It was agreed that FSC certified operations in the Congo Basin should be considered to take part in field tests for the development of International Generic Indicators for the new FSC Principles and Criteria. A pro-active participatory approach towards finding solutions for challenges in certification in the region was discussed.
FSC wishes to thank His Excellency Henri Djombo, the Mayor of Pokola, the Sous-Prefet and CIB for the cordial welcome and constructive discussions and is looking forward to further collaboration and engagement in the Congo Basin.
More information: Chris Burchmore, FSC Regional Director for Africa (email@example.com) or Isaac Moussa (firstname.lastname@example.org).