African countries pledge to fight Congo Basin illegal wood trade

25 October 2013

Six African countries have made an “unprecedented” commitment to combat the illegal timber trade in the Congo Basin by adopting the Brazzaville Declaration.

Representatives from the governments of the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast and Gabon made the commitment for joint action at an international forum in Congo capital Brazzaville on October 21-22.

The announcement was made by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The declaration was adopted jointly with timber industry representatives from the countries and civil society organisations.

It is an outcome of long-term debate among key forest industry stakeholders and regional partners, through the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) process.

“The Brazzaville Declaration could help to slow down the pace of deforestation in the region,” said FAO forestry officer Olman Serrano. FAO estimates net forest loss in the Congo Basin at 700,000ha per year from 2000-2010.