In its final year, a Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) business case toolkit was created for concession holders and forest owners managing forests throughout the tropics.Read more
At the end the 5-year program, the Congo Basin Program (CBP) is currently being evaluated. Please give us your feedback, by filling out the questionnaire.Read more
The IDH Congo Basin Program (CBP) is organizing a learning event, to be held on the 20th of November. Key results, experiences and lessons learned with the promotion of forest certification in the Congo Basin will be shared from 5 years CBP. Interesting speakers will look back, and share their results. Through a panel discussion, the future of sustainable forest management and certification in Africa will be discussed.Read more
The Congo Basin Program is in its’ final year. Besides the ongoing support of participating companies with certification ambitions, several so-called ‘learning activities’ are part of the year plan 2015. The aim of the learning activities is to draw conclusions on what have been the learning points of the program and be able to share and communicate the lessons learnt.Read more
As of April 2015, Mrs. Christine Naaijen has joined the Congo Basin Program Secretary, which is housed at Form international. She will replace Petra Westerlaan as a Program Officer. In this function she will maintain relations with participants and project partners of CBP, take care of communications and periodical reporting and coordinate the evaluation of the program and closing event.
Mrs Naaijen: “I am pleased to be able to support the CBP team and play my role in the promotion of responsible forest management in tropical Africa. I look forward to work with participating companies and project partners and to facilitate the exchange of experience and information that has been gathered on the way.”
On August 14th, the Forest Stewardship Council announced that the dissociation with Danzer was lifted after an independent verification team had concluded they fulfilled all conditions for re-association.Read more
In June 2014, SFID (Société Forestière et Industrielle de la Doumé) of Rougier Group obtained FSC Controlled Wood certification for its operations in Djoum, in the South Region of Cameroon. The certificate covers six UFAs with a total surface of 262,772 ha of tropical forest. The audit, performed by SGS, covers both the FSC-STD-30-010 and the traceability (chain-of-custody). The public report summary can be found at info.fsc.org. Now all forest managed by Rougier in Cameroon and Gabon are either FSC or FSC Controlled Wood.
With support of the Congo Basin Program, so far 475,000 ha of forest has been brought to FSC certification and 262,772 ha of forest to the FSC Controlled Wood level.
During the last trimester of 2013, midway of the program implementation, the Congo Basin Program’s objectives and mode of operation have been evaluated. It is clear that with a poor timber market, a focus on EUTR compliance and shifting markets to Asia, the circumstances in the Congo Basin area are not favourable for FSC certification.
In order to meet today’s reality, the program has adapted its approach for 2014 and 2015. Besides support for full FSC certification, co-financing is now also available for companies pursuing FSC Controlled Wood certification. The program has lowered its ambition from the original 4 million ha of FSC certified forest to 1.25 million ha full FSC and 340,000 ha FSC Controlled Wood certified forest.Read more
Almost forty private and public organizations jointly launched the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (European STTC) on 6 November in Amsterdam. The coalition aims to increase European demand for timber from sustainably managed tropical forests. Hans Stout, program director IDH: "We need to increase responsibly sourced tropical timber to protect the existing tropical forests and their inhabitants. The European STTC will boost demand at European level to create a business case for sustainable forest management.”Read more
This year, the Congo Basin Program expanded its focus from the Congo Basin region to other African countries with forest companies interested to go for FSC certification. We actively looked for partners in Ghana and this has resulted in two partnerships: with Logs and Lumber Limited (LLL) and John Bitar & Co Ltd (JCM). Both forest companies are already certified for FSC Controlled Wood.Read more
In October, Rougier Gabon obtained FSC certification for her concession ‘Moyabi’ covering a total surface of 188,989 ha. Earlier this year, Rougier expanded her contract with the Congo Basin Program by adding all other forest concessions in Gabon and Cameroon some with the objective to obtain forest certification, others to maintain it. All forest managed by Rougier Gabon is now FSC certified.
In total, 475,000 ha has been brought to FSC certification with support of the Congo Basin Program.
In 2013, two large Gabonese forest companies joined the Congo Basin Program. Precious Woods Gabon participates in the CBP to maintain the FSC certification of the 616,000 ha of forest they manage. The Société des bois de Lastourville (SBL) manages 2 forest concessions with a total surface of 340,000 ha and has committed itself to bring this area under FSC certification before the end of 2015.
New service providers include some very experienced NGO’s and Consultants who have a broad experience with forest certification in the Congo Basin and beyond. This year, also an English annex has been added as the Congo Basin Program has now extended its working area to Ghana and may include forest companies from other Anglophone countries as well.Read more
Sister program 'The Amazon Alternative' presents an introduction movie on its activities on sustainable forest management in the Amazon region.
From 9 to 11 April, WWF has organized a 3-day workshop in Kinshasa with the main objective to contribute to the implementation of a methodology for participative micro zoning in DRC. The participative micro zoning pilot project, managed by WWF, is part of IDH’s Congo Basin Program. More than 50 participants of various organisations were present...Read more
In July 2013, the second revision of the services catalogue will take place. This year, the service package has expanded with the inclusion of ‘internal audit and expert advice’. Also, the CBP has broadened its scope to include Ghana (and possibly other anglophonic African countries), so this year an English addendum will be added.
Deadline for submission is 21 June 2012.
Fair Tropical Timber (FTT) had a successful first mission for the project on group certification of community forests. End of March, FTT went to Cameroon with the following objectives:
a. Selection of Community Forests to participate in the project
b. Research the possibilities for legality certification of community timber
c. Set up an organization of the group managerRead more
A brochure has been developed for the Congo Basin Program which can be downloaded here. Feel free to distribute it among potentially interested forest companies and other organisations.
Wijma Cameroun SA collaborates with the Congo Basin Program with 4 forest concessions in Cameroon, covering a total surface of 319,395 hectares.Read more
A 9th service has been added to the CBP support package: an internal audit accompanied with a comprehensive expert advice and capacity building for companies in performing internal audits. In addition, companies that are already FSC certified can now also benefit from co-financing for RIL-training.Read more
The Congo Basin Program congratulates the Société Forestière Industrielle de la Doumé (SFID) of Rougier Group with their FSC certificate. SFID is located in southeastern Cameroon where it manages 3 forest concessions covering 286,000 hectares.
As of January 2013, Mr. Rik Sools has joined the Congo Basin Program Secretary. His main tasks for the CBP will be to coordinate a pilot project on participative land-use planning in the DRC and to collaborate with Ghanaian forest companies to achieve FSC certification.
Mr Sools: “I am very pleased to have joined the CBP team and be able to further promote responsible forest management in tropical Africa. I look forward to work together with our team and all the partners in the program to achieve our joined goals.”Read more
In October 2012, the fellers of SFID, the Cameroonian affiliate of Rougier Group, as well their assistants and their managers have been trained on controlled felling by TEREA. This service has been co-financed by the Congo Basin Program.
In total 18 persons have been trained. Besides training the personnel, TEREA has also evaluated the maintenance of the material and the security equipment of the fellers and their assistants.Read more
Over the last year, Fair and Sustainable Advisory Services (FSAS) has provided its consultancy services to the Congo Basin Program by contributing to two aspects of the program:
(1) The social aspects and inclusion of community forestry in the program (focus on Cameroon); and
(2) Contribution to the development of a buddy-system of service providers (aiming to build local capacity by coupling large, experienced service providers with less experienced service providers).
Now the assignment has been completed, FSAS presents its final report capturing their main findings and recommendations. To read the full report, click here (and Annex D: access to finance report).
The Certification-Training Department of Bureau Veritas Douala proposes a full range of intra- and inter company training to help you to respond to new reglementary constraints and control the QHSE risks linked to your activity :
- Training on Quality, Environment, Health Security, Food and Sustainbale Development
- Specific job training
Download the training leaflet for 2013 by Bureau Veritas (in French).
Over the last year the CBP has received critical notes on its planned activities in DRC especially from Greenpeace, making reference to social scandals that have taken place at a number of forest companies in DRC.
In co-lead with WWF, the Congo Basin Program has developed a proposal on how to best engage with forest companies in DRC. Basically, first step is to execute a participative land-use planning process before a contract is signed with a forest company and a formal cooperation starts to work towards responsible forest management and FSC certification.Read more
The Congo Basin Program has signed an MoU with the Program to Promote Exploitation of Certified Forests (Programme de Promotion l’Exploitation Certifiédes Forêts – PPEFC). PPECF is a program of the COMIFAC (Commission of Central African Forests/ Commission des Forêts d’Afrique Centrale) supported by the German development bank KfW. The CBP and the PPECF share the same objective to increase the area of forest under responsible management in the Congo Basin region. To align their activities and to strengthen each other where possible, an agreement has been signed.Read more
From last year’s efforts Fair & Sustainable Advisory Services (FSAS) and the Congo Basin Program (CBP) conclude that semi-commercial partnerships between community foresters and forest companies are not a viable option. Because community forests become more and more important, the CBP has explored, with the assistance of FSAS and Fair Tropical Timber (FTT), other ways to include community foresters in the Congo Basin Program. An interesting and promising alternative is to go for group certification of community forests. Having experience in trading with Cameroonian community forests, FTT will fulfill a key role in this.Read more
As of September Mr. Bertin TCHIKANGWA is the Congo Basin Program’s new regional coordinator thereby replacing Ms VAN DE POL. Mister TCHIKANGWA is based in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Mr TCHIKANGWA: "Tropical forests are essential to the well-being of rural communities and the survival of many endangered species in Central Africa. Forest certification is a sign of responsibility and achievement of private sector operators in the sustainable management of the forests. I am proud to contribute to the Congo Basin Program, which aims at increasing the area of certified forests, improving the quality certification processes and to developing new markets for certified products."Read more
ALPICAM participates in the Congo Basin Program with 4 concessions in Cameroon, covering a total surface of 364,000 hectares. Besides forest, Alpi has advanced timber processing companies to produce fine, high-quality layered veneer. General director Mr. Saviolo explains:
“Since 3 generations, via constant progress and innovation and now with an incomparable know-how, GROUPE ALPI spa brings an exceptional added value to the forest. Today resolutely engaged in sustainable management of this resource, ALPICAM finds with the CBP-IDH initiative a pragmatic partner, ideal to achieve in 2015 the objective of forest certification.”Read more
An article about the Congo Basin Program has been included in the September newsletter of FSC Netherlands. It gives an update and overview of the achievements of the program, being active for over a year now.Read more
The existing good working relationship with WWF is now formalized and further strengthened by the signing of an MoU. WWF, through GFTN, will advise IDH’s Congo Basin Program on promoting FSC and public-private partnerships in the region. The knowledge, experience and network of GFTN in the region is of utmost importance for an effective and successful roll-out of the Congo Basin Program.Read more
The catalogue with service providers has been revised. New service providers include some very experienced and local NGO’s and consultants who have a broad experience with forest certification in the Congo Basin. This new pool of service providers is ready to assist the Congo Basin Program partner companies in realizing their forest certification.Read more
Corà Wood Gabon has joined the Congo Basin Program with two concessions in Gabon covering a surface of almost 400,000 hectares. Corà Wood Gabon’s Director Mister Zancolo explains:
“By becoming a partner of the Congo Basin Program, Corà Wood Gabon shows its firm commitment to continuously improving its forest harvesting practices with a clear objective to reach the performance level as required by the principles and criteria of the FSC standard for sustainable forestry before the end of 2015.”Read more
The regional FSC standard for the Congo Basin has been approved as of 26 April 2012. This regional standard shall be used by all Certification Bodies operating in the region, as from 1 September 2012. Pre-requisite for continuation of the Congo Basin Program into the second phase was that a regional/ national FSC standard would be accredited and functional.
We congratulate FSC, and all stakeholders involved in the development of the regional standard, with this success!Read more
Every sustainable forest operation has to deal with the Lesser Known Timber Species (LKTS). In order to promote these LKTS, FSC Netherlands is organizing a research & development project together with a consortium of commercial partners from the European/ Dutch hardwood sector. This program is being set up in close cooperation with commercial partners of the Tropical Timber Programs of IDH, i.e. Congo Basin Program, The Amazon Alternative and The Borneo Initiative.Read more
FORM International has become member of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). CBFP works in close relationship with the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC), the regional body in charge of forests and environmental policy, coordination and harmonization. Particularly in its role of Secretariat of the Congo Basin Program, FORM International is convinced to make a tangible contribution to sustainable forest management in the region.Read more
In December, the contract for cooperation between the Congo Basin Program Secretary and Fair & Sustainable Advisory Services (FSAS) has been concluded. This cooperation is targeted to the social side of forestry: capacity building of local NGOs and the inclusion of community forestry in the Congo Basin Program.Read more
ICCO is now officially partner of the Congo Basin Program. ICCO decided to support the CBP financially by contributing €100,000 per year. Further, it strengthens the Congo Basin Program with its expertise on community forestry and the social side of forest management in the Congo Basin.Read more
As of August 2011, the Congo Basin Program has a new Program Director: Mr Tieme Wanders. Mr Wanders is a senior consultant at FORM International and has extensive expertise on sustainable forest management. He was involved in some of the first management plans and FSC certificates in West and Central Africa.Read more
An article about the Congo Basin Program has been included in the August newsletter of FSC Netherlands. It introduces the program and gives an overview of recent achievements.Read more
The Congo Basin Program is now officially launched in the region! Launch meetings were held in Cameroun, Gabon, DRC and Congo. In addition, the Program Secretary met with a large number of concession holders and potential service providers interested in participating in the CBP.Read more