See also:
» 05.10.2010 - Cameroon timber exports to get license
» 01.07.2010 - Central African bushmeat hits European market
» 19.02.2009 - Cameroon creates park to conserve threatened species
» 23.05.2008 - Central Africa's "Pygmies" gain from ecotourism
» 11.04.2006 - Cameroon "should involve locals" to control logging
» 07.02.2005 - Landmark Congo Basin conservation treaty signed
» 06.02.2005 - Cameroon timber companies get more responsible
» 03.02.2005 - Brazzaville summit addresses Congo Basin's forests

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Cameroon | Congo Brazzaville | Congo Kinshasa | Gabon
Environment - Nature

Congo Basin forest management "successful"

afrol News, 21 May - Environmentalists celebrate the "rapid progress" made in saving the precious rainforests of the Congo Basin, second only to the Amazon. Vast areas are now effectively protected and sustainably and responsibly managed.

According to the environmentalist group WWF, the last decade has seen an immense progress in protecting the world's second largest rainforest; a major lung in the global ecosystem and one of the most important home to biodiversity. Not only have vast areas been protected, but in contrary to the Amazon, they are also being effectively managed.

According to WWF, the Congo Basin is now home to over four million hectares of sustainably managed forests following certification by the Forest Stewardship Council of numerous locations in the region. This follows a "milestone" certification process in Cameroon and Congo Brazzaville finalised this year and adding to certification of well-managed forests in Congo Kinshasa and Gabon.

Coupled with this announcement, total Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification has now been achieved for forestry operations on 4.6 million hectares in the Congo Basin since December 2005. This represents about a tenth of forests allocated for logging.

Also the timber industry has contributed to the sustainable management certification process. "This is a major milestone in our efforts to progressively increase our production and trade of FSC-certified products," says Olof von Gagern, Danzer Group CEO for Africa. "It boosts our motivation to increase our efforts towards the certification of our concessions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)."

The WWF's Richard McLellan also celebrates the announcement as a significant milestone, adding that this "indicates a clear sign of the African forestry industry's desire to implement strategies to protect Congo Basin forests that are vital to global climate regulation, biodiversity and the rights and welfare of indigenous peoples."

WWF Africa says it has an aim of achieving forest certification for 7 million hectares by 2012, with another 5 million hectares progressing towards credible certification. It is now focusing its work on Congo Kinshasa (DRC), the country representing the largest part of the basin's rainforests.

The achievements and momentum gained from recent achievements in responsible forest management in the Congo Basin are influencing both policy and business practices. As an example, Congo Brazzaville recently joined a voluntary partnership agreement with the European Union (EU) to ensure the legality of its timber exports.

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