Global Witness’ report entitled ‘The art of logging industrially in Congo’, which outlines the abuse of artisanal logging permits in DRC, has been welcomed by the Congolese Environment Minister Bavon N’sa Mputu Elima. The Minister has issued two ministerial orders that are a first step towards tackling the problem. One of these orders suspends part of the legal text called Arrêté 011, thus clarifying that artisanal logging permits are not to be signed by the national Environment Minister but by provincial governors. The other order suspends artisanal or timber purchasing permits held by certain companies.
Global Witness has written to the minister welcoming this initial response and requesting him to revoke all permits issued in contravention of the law; to undertake an enquiry into the issuance of illegal logging permits; to ensure all timber cut under illegal permits is seized and appropriate fines issued; and to ensure that any new legal texts to tackle this issue are developed in consultation with civil society organisations.