Trading in Chaos: the impact at home and abroad of illegal logging in DRC

Publication - 2015-05-29
The forests of the Congo Basin comprise the second-largest rainforest area in the world and play a key role in regulating the earth’s climate, as well as providing a home and livelihood to millions of people and rare and endangered wildlife. The country’s logging sector is in a state of organised chaos –There is a woeful lack of transparency, corruption is endemic and iIlegal activities in industrial logging concessions are the norm. Chief among the companies wreaking this havoc is Cotrefor, a Lebanese-owned company that has been logging in the country since 2011 but before that date was operating under the name Trans M. Greenpeace Africa spent two years investigating Cotrefor’s logging concessions and the operations therein as well as tracking how its timber is traded and exported to the world’s ports. The results of these investigations reveal a shocking record of employee mistreatment, unpaid taxes, rampant irregularities in operational procedure with regards to felling trees and exceeding allocated quotas of endangered species such as Afrormosia that are permitted to be logged.