This story excerpt was translated from French. To read the original story in full, visit Actualité. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
This article is one of a series produced as part of an investigation into the conditions under which logging concessions are allocated, operated, and marketed.
The National Coalition Against Illegal Logging is calling on the authorities to better pay the state agents responsible for controlling the timber sector. It estimates that today, nearly half of the operators are operating illegally, but that this should not be confused with other companies.
"The control is not done in a rigorous way because the agents of the administration who are supposed to do this work are badly paid and lack materials. Regulatory missions are almost non-existent. About 50% of companies operate illegally," Philippe Nzita, Executive Secretary of the National Coalition against Illegal Logging (CNCEIB) told ACTUALITÉ.CD in April 2023.
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"For a responsible forest control, it is therefore necessary to start by improving the salaries of the agents of the administration. We must equip these agents with technical and logistical means. It is necessary to create solid control bases in the provinces. The law must be enforced in case of flagrant offenses observed in the field."
For the national coalition against illegal logging, the management of the sector remains far too opaque.
"We know some operators. But for others, it is a mafia that operates at a very high level. Even the administration does not know their addresses. This is a strange thing. The government, through the ministry of supervision, has a great responsibility on this question of non-control of the addresses of the companies which exploit the wood in DRC," explained Philippe Nzita.