Ministerial Delegation visits PEFC for Discussions on Advancing Forest Certification in the Republic of Congo

 

docs/news/Juin-Aout-2013/PEFC-Congo.jpg“We’re committed to working with stakeholders to establish a national forest certification system, meeting international sustainability benchmarks whilst respecting the unique values of our people and forests,” said his Excellency, Minister Henri Djombo, of the Ministry of Forest Economy and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Congo during a visit to the PEFC International office in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Together with his Forest Advisor, Mr. Grégoire Nkeoua and Mr. Ngoya Kessy, the Managing Director of valorization forest resources, the Delegation met with PEFC and L'Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux (ATIBT) to agree collaboration.  

 

The Republic of Congo is located in the Congo Basin, the second biggest continuous rainforest in the world after the Amazon. The biodiverse forests are home to an estimated 10,000 species of plants and diverse wildlife that includes many rare and endangered species like forest elephant and mountain gorilla. They also provide food, fresh water and shelter to more than 75 million people throughout the Congo Basin. It is within this context that Republic of Congo has taken a strong interest in protecting its forests and balancing the need to conserve this resource with the needs to alleviate poverty, promote stability and economic growth.

 

“The responsible use of our natural resources is key to the development of the Republic of Congo. Forest certification offers an important mechanism to verify sustainable forest management practices, and we are looking forward to working with PEFC to achieve international recognition of our national system,” emphasized Minister Djombo.

 

“Tropical forests, which house nearly half the species known on earth, is where forest certification can have the biggest impact,” remarked Ben Gunneberg, PEFC Secretary General, following the meeting. “We welcome the leadership of his excellency, Minister Djombo, which stands to advance certification not only in the Republic of Congo but throughout the entire Congo Basin.”

 

Ralph Ridder, General Director of ATIBT, an organization that promotes best practice in the timber industry, welcomed the initiative. “With one of the major challenges in Africa being the robust implementation of certification requirements, there is certainly a need for the well-respected approach offered by PEFC. Responsible companies in Congo and the Congo Basin are increasingly aware of the unique benefits of PEFC, and we welcome the Minister’s commitment to work together with the private sector and civil society, to establish a PEFC option for the Congo.”

 

For more Information, please contact M. Remi Sournia <development@pefc.org> and consult the Official Website of the PEFC

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