Letter to World Bank on lifting of moratorium on expansion of industrial logging in DRC.
In partnership with the Bank Information Center (BIC), Global Witness, Greenpeace International and Rainforest Foundation
UK, Rainforest Foundation Norway wrote to the World Bank expressing alarm at the legalization of 15 logging concessions in
the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
This decision of the DRC Government, backed by the World Bank, contravenes the outcome of a legal review completed in 2009 that deemed these 15 logging concessions illegal. Rainforest Foundation Norway and the co-signatories to the letter to the World Bank fear that this back-lash for good forest governance precedes an announcement to lift the moratorium on the allocation of new logging concessions.
This move, coupled with a flawed World Bank-backed land use process, would open swathes of intact forests to industrial logging, just as DRC plans to become a lead country in the strategy to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation of forests (REDD) in the Congo Basin.
Flashback: in 2007, the World Bank Inspection Panel investigated the practices of the World Bank in the rainforest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following a request from indigenous groups. The Panel concludes that the Bank's bias towards industrial logging impoverishes local people. The World Bank should rethink its approach to forest management, and develop a policy based on true participation of forest-dependent peoples, with the aim of securing their traditional rights and promoting alternatives to industrial logging.