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DR Congo: Controversy over forestry contracts

Democratic Republic Of Congo

DR Congo officials are considering canceling three forest exploitation contracts awarded to two Chinese companies.

This follows a report published on Tuesday, in which an ecological NGO, Green Peace, accused the country of violating laws which prohibit the attribution of illegal forest concessions.

“For precautionary reasons we are going to cancel this illegal contracts which have become null and void. The state treasury did not receive any benefits from the contracts,“DR Congo environment minister, Robert Bopolo said.

According to the NGO, the contracts were awarded to Somifor and Fodeco following the influence of the former DR Congo environment minister.

The present environment minister says he cannot find any information in the ministry’s archives concerning how this contracts were awarded.

The DR Congo adopted a forestry code in 2012 on the attribution of new licenses on industrial logging aimed at putting order in the sector.

The country has more than 60 percent of dense forests of the Congo basin which is the second largest forest after the Amazon.

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