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Ensuring the legality of Congolese timber on the international market

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Ensuring the legality of Congolese timber on the international market

The Ministry of Forest Economy and Sustainable Development announced in Brazzaville that the Congolese government has decided to adopt private certification standards compatible with the requirements of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA – FLEGT) in order to ensure the legality of its timber on the international market.
Congo signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU allowing forestry companies to export timber legally ten years ago. Experts at the ministry of Forest Economy and Sustainable Development and private certification bodies held an exchange meeting in Brazzaville on the harmonization of standards in the VPA process.  This includes integrating the requirements of legality checklists, then to adjust their audit results to the standards before the installation of the software establishing a local system of verifying the legality and traceability of timber from the forest to exportation.
"The feasibility study conducted by the Research firm selected by the European Commission, EFI notes that the implementation of this system will require substantial financial resources," said the Chief of Staff of the Minister, Head of Forest Economy, Michel Elenga.
According to him, without this system, the 2015 deadline set by the Joint Implementation for issuing the first FLEGT licenses will not be respected. FLEGT certifications will only be issued to authorize the export of legal timber in the European Union. Countries of the Congo Basin agree to make significant efforts for the certification of sustainable forest management and forest law.

Source: AfriqueJet