“This certificate means a lot to us,” said Robert Hunink, executive vice-president of the DLH/tt Timber Group and president of the supervisory board of CIB.

He said the group could now start offering products originating from a significant FSC certified forest area in the Congo Basin.

The Kabo FMU covers 296,000ha and the SGS report has highlighted a number of areas where there is still work to be done.

“We’re already focusing on these and will continue to work with our project partners to guide our continuous improvement,” said Lucas van der Walt, CIB’s environmental manager.

He said the company’s goal was to be the best FSC certified operation in the world, drawing on the CIB experience to bring about change in other forests of the Congo Basin and around the world.

CIB aims to have its remaining FMUs, covering 1.3 million ha, FSC certified in the near future.