Forestry in the Congo Basin Countries and Measures to Improve its Efficiency


Natalia Matveeva


The article offers insight into the main stages of the formation of forestry into an independent branch of the economy in African countries, the forest areas of which constitute a common ecosystem, one of the largest in the world. The features of the system of relations between the main subjects of economic activity in the forest sector, that developed during the colonial period, and its subsequent evolution after the transition to the planned formation of the forest management sphere are characterized. The results of the implementation of forest management plans in concessions are analyzed, it being the necessary condition for the logging companies which aim to obtain an official confirmation of compliance of their activities with international standards subject to local conditions and provisions of national laws.

One of the generally accepted, by the African countries as well, and authoritative evidence of responsible logging, which at the same time confirms the legality of the origin of the wood offered to the buyer, is a certificate issued by the international commercial organization Forest Steward Council (FSC). The introduction of a certification system is seen as an incentive to promote sustainable forest management and sustainable forest management in timber supplying countries to foreign markets. However, there are examples of unscrupulous companies continuing to harvest wood on the principle of “forest mining”, while resorting to illegal cutting of trees outside the concessions. This negatively affects the competitiveness of companies that strive to maintain a reputation as a supplier of legally harvested and environmentally friendly wood. They are forced to reduce the scope of their activities in the region. The article also notes the gradual reorientation of timber supplies from the countries of the region to the Asian markets, which is characteristic of recent years, where demand for this product is growing, regardless of the sources of its origin. At the same time, its purchases by its traditional buyers, European countries, were declining. Nevertheless, Asian companies, primarily from China and Vietnam, are beginning to show an increasing interest in purchases of certified wood, hoping at the same time to expand export supplies of finished products to countries with strict bans on the import of wood (and wood products) harvested illegally.

Gabon’s experience in using the resource potential of forests to create the basic foundations of its own timber industry was also noted.


forest resources, logging concessions, forest management plans, FSC certificates, Forest Legality Enforcement Government and Trade (FLEGT), timber industry




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