Briefing Document / April 23, 2008

Open letter to the Congolese Environment Minister on developments in the forest sector

Congolese and international non-governmental organisations sent an open letter to the Congolese Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Water and Forests regarding developments in the forest sector.

There is a unique opportunity for the government to develop forest policy reforms based on transparency, accountability and the well-being of forest-dependent populations as well as the wider national and international communities, given the forthcoming close of the forest title conversion process in the DR Congo. In particular, the NGOs are calling on the government, with the support of the international donor community, to significantly strengthen the forest title conversion process and to maintain and extend the May 2002 moratorium on new industrial logging titles to include a full moratorium on all industrial-scale logging, until certain criteria are met.