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Republic of the Congo
Risk Score
89.8
Risk Profile
Higher Risk
Conflict State
Yes
Log Export Restriction
Yes
Other Timber Export Restrictions
No
Import Regulation
No
Legality Risks Click for details on legality risks
  • Despite improvements to the legislative framework for forest management in 2020, illegal logging remains pervasive in the
    Republic of the Congo (ROC).
  • The security situation in ROC is improving following a decade of violence in the 1990s, but corruption reportedly permeates almost every sector of the economy.
  • ROC has restricted exports of unprocessed products since 2000, but legal uncertainty since the 2020 Forest Code poses a risk that unprocessed logs continue to be illegally exported to international markets, particularly China and Vietnam.
  • Independent forest monitoring (IFM) has been a key feature of international efforts to improve forest governance since 2007. 
  • NGOs continue to document sector-wide illegalities and corruption in the forest sector.

Read more by downloading the Republic of the Congo Timber Legality Risk Dashboard here.

Latest Updates Click for latest news from Republic of the Congo
January 19, 2024
Mapping the diversity of land uses following deforestation across Africa

The first high-resolution (5 m) and continental-scale
mapping of land use following deforestation in Africa, including humid and dry forests.

 

Results show, not surprisingly,  that the causes of forest loss vary by region. In general, small-scale cropland is the
dominant driver of forest loss in Africa, with hotspots in Madagascar and DRC. In addition, commodity
crops such as cacao, oil palm, and rubber are the dominant drivers of forest loss in the humid forests of
western and central Africa, forming an “arc of commodity crops” in that region. At the same time, the
hotspots for cashew are found to increasingly dominate in the dry forests of both western and southeastern Africa, while larger hotspots for large-scale croplands were found in Nigeria and Zambia.

More...
August 8, 2023
‘Dependent on the forest’: The fight for indigenous peoples’ rights in the Congo Basin

The tropical forests of the Congo Basin are home to nearly 1 million indigenous people. After thousands of years of survival, deforestation is perhaps their biggest challenge yet. On International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, FRANCE 24 takes a closer look at what’s being done to help.

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March 21, 2023
An overview of the timber traceability systems in Congo Basin countries

This overview report assesses the region’s progress in developing timber traceability systems to reduce additional pressures from over-exploitation due to corruption, insufficient accountability, and illegal logging. It examples how Tanzania’s established timber traceability system may offer valuable lessons to guide Congo Basin countries in a stepwise process to overcome complex models, gain political buy-in and secure government ownership.

More...
February 2, 2023
Central African States Fail to Honor Timber Export Ban

Officials say most member states in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, CEMAC, have failed to honor a ban on raw timber exports that was enacted last year to conserve forests and create jobs by locally processing wood.

The six member countries of the Central African bloc agreed to ban raw timber exports starting in January 2022. The ban is aimed partially at combating climate change by protecting forests from excessive logging.

 

However, an online meeting of CEMAC forestry and finance ministers Thursday found that only Gabon and the Republic of Congo have suspended the timber exports to China and other Asian countries. Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad and Equatorial Guinea have not.

 

The deadline for implementing the ban was initially pushed back to January 2023 to give the CEMAC countries more time to comply. Motaze suggested the bloc push back the deadline again to 2025 so countries have more time to invest in wood processing equipment and in training workers.

More...
January 6, 2023
CONGO: Ban on export of timber in log form comes into force

The Republic of Congo is suspending the export of timber in the form of logs. The measure came into force on Sunday 1 January 2023 at the port of Pointe-Noire. Congo joins Gabon, which has been applying this sustainability approach to forest management since 2010. Cameroon, on the other hand, continues to export logs, to the detriment of environmentalists and international agreements on forest preservation.

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November 2, 2022
Central Africa: Log export ban postponed indefinitely

In Central Africa, the ban on the export of logs will no longer take effect from 1 January 2022. The entry into force of this measure has been postponed to an unspecified date. This was the outcome of the 38th ordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the Economic Union of Central Africa (UEAC), which ended on 28 October 2022 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

This is a retropalent for the countries of the Economic Union of Central Africa (UEAC). The entry into force of the ban on timber exports in the form of logs, which was set for 1 January 2023, has been postponed to a date yet to be determined.

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October 28, 2022
Minister of Forest Economy of the Republic of Congo announces the end of log exports on January 1, 2023

This week, the Minister of Forest Economy of the Republic of Congo announced the end of log exports on January 1, 2023. Our association welcomes this decision, which will allow for the long-term advancement of the country’s wood processing industry.
Congo is now entering an important stage. 2023 will be a year of transition, not necessarily easy. For various reasons (covid, energy crisis, raw material crisis), companies have had difficulties over the past two years to prepare for this decision and to equip themselves with the new industrial means necessary to absorb the volumes of wood that are no longer exported. Discussions between the authorities and operators in the sector should take place in the short term and could facilitate the implementation of this policy, to clarify certain questions concerning, among other things, the export of heavy timber, or the future of commercial contracts currently in force.InCameroon, discussions between the authorities and the GFBC seem to indicate the opening of a 3-year transition period.

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August 12, 2022
New Report from ACSS: Illegal Logging in Africa and Its Security Implications

Illegal logging is a growing feature of transnational organized crime in Africa, often facilitated by the collusion of senior officials, with far-reaching security and environmental implications for the countries affected.

More...
June 9, 2022
Cemac: States are preparing for the ban on the export of logs, supposed to come into force from January 2023

In view of the entry into force, from January 1 2023, of the measure prohibiting the export of logs in the six CEMAC countries (Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Chad, CAR and Equatorial Guinea), a workshop devoted to the validation of the regional guidelines for taxation and forest certification is currently being held in Libreville.

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March 19, 2022
Congo: Fish smoking driving deforestation

Smoked fish is a popular delicacy in Congo. Locally known as Makwala, the fish is craved for its rich aroma. But for Makwala to meet the preferences of its ardent consumers, a lot of wood has to burn. The high demand for fuel to smoke fish is driving deforestation in Congo. Vast areas of mangrove forests have disappeared as a result.

More...
Publications Click for publications related to Republic of the Congo
Despite improvements to the legislative framework for forest management in 2020, illegal logging remains pervasive in the Republic of the Congo (ROC). The security situation in ROC is improving following a decade of violence in the 1990s, but corruption reportedly permeates almost every sector of the economy. ROC has restricted exports of unprocessed products since […]
Key Resources
Click here for a collection of Forest Trends publications related to IDAT Risk, including the full set of Timber Legality Risk Country Dashboards.
Methodology
Click here to download the Methodology which includes information on data sources, the methodology used to create risk indicators, and a glossary of key terms.
Data Tools

Click here to access the Global Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (ILAT) Risk assessment tool and to download the Forest Trends User Guide describing the functionality of the ILAT Risk Data Tool.

Click here to access the Cattle Data Tool.

Export Restrictions
Click here to download a database of forest policy export restrictions.