A new Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Ministerial Order threatens to have a detrimental effect on local communities.
The order, Arrêté No. 050 of 25 September 2015, creates a new category of ‘artisanal’ logging concessions, which will be held and managed at local level by decentralized governmental territorial entities.
Communities will continue to have no official land and resource rights, nor will they be involved in the management of the new concessions. The legislation may legalise semi-industrial logging activities which until now have been illegal. It could also bypass the moratorium on new logging concession allocations that has been in place since 2002.
Arrêté 050, passed without the required public consultation, has no legal basis in the DRC forest code and lacks safeguards for local communities. NGOs are urging donors such as the EU to discuss the dangers of this legislation with the government of the DRC and make any forest sector support subject to rescinding this legislation.