Certification in the Congo: a cause for celebration or confusion?

Along with WWF, Greenpeace recently joined a ‘love-in’ with African rainforest logger, Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB), to celebrate the arrival into Switzerland of the first shipment of CIB’s FSC-certified timber.

But some people may be a bit surprised by Greenpeace’s inclination to celebrate this event: in 2005, Greenpeace issued a detailed critique of CIB’s plans to get their 267,000 hectare concession certified, which followed a multi-disciplinary visit organised by Greenpeace to the CIB concession in December 2004, as CIB were preparing to be assessed. Amongst the issues raised by Greenpeace in their damning indictment of CIB was that the company had attracted around 10,000 new people into an area of formerly pristine rainforest, many of whom were now consuming locally caught bushmeat; that there were serious concerns about the conditions experience by the local Pygmy hunter-gatherers, who had lost many of the forest resources they depended on and did not have any security of land tenure; and that the company planned to build a large new sawmill that would likely increase pressure on an adjacent National Park.

FSC-Watch therefore invites Greenpeace to explain whether it now feels happy that all of these important issues have been properly addressed by CIB in conformity with the FSC’s Principles and Criteria?

Unofficial translation of a press release originally issued in German:

Media conference

 

WWF Switzerland, Greenpeace Switzerland, FSC Switzerland, tt Timber International AG / Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB) (part of the DLH Gruppe), Türenfabrik Brunegg AG (Brunegg Door Factory), Verband Schweizerische Türenbranche (VST) (Federation of Swiss Door Producers), Tropical Forest Trust (TFT), Staatsekretariat für Wirtschaft (SECO) (State secretariat for Economic Affairs), Intercooperation.

For the first time in Switzerland: Primary forest-friendly tropical wood from Africa

Thursday, 26 October 2006, 10:00, Sägewerk Gebrüder Kappeler & Co AG (Kappeler Brothers & Co Sawmill), Zelgli 18, 5313 Klingnau

Dear Media representatives,

An unprecedented partnership between organisations and business that jointly advocate sustainable use and the protection of tropical forests, bears fruit: in October, for the first time, primary forest-friendly tropical wood from Africa arrives in Switzerland.

In May 2006, the Kabo concession of the firm Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB) in the Republic of Congo became FSC certified. Now the first shipment of FSC-certified round wood form this concession is arriving in Switzerland, via Germany. The delivery, by DLH Germany, is the result of an order from Türenfabrik Brunegg AG (Bruneeg Door Factory).

At the media conference, you will be informed of the background of this project by representatives of the different organisations. You will learn about how African FSC wood will be further processed. Also, national and international experts in the fields of tropical forest conservation and tropical wood utilisation will be at your service.

We will be happy if you participate in the media conference and report about the first African FSC tropical wood in Switzerland. Please let us know before 24 October whether or not you will be at the media conference in Klingnau.

Thank you.

WWF Switzerland

Corina Gyssler

Greenpeace’s report on CIB is also available here: 0reportvisitgreenpeacetocib_dec04.pdf

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