From 20th to 27th of August 2018, a team from the Forest Independent Observer (OI) fulfilled an independent assignment in the Region of Cuvette-ouest. The OI Team with a member of DDEF-Co covered the Development Forestry Unit (UFA) of Tsama-Mbama, allotted to Entreprise CHRISTELLE.
The mission assessed the enforcement of the forestry laws by the Regional Office of Cuvette- ouest (DDEF-Co) and Entreprise Christelle. It stretched over from January 2017 to July 2018. The mission checked on top of collecting the documentation related to Forestry Management the limits of the 2018 additional felling and the marking of saw logs, stumps and abutments on sites, within the working ground of the said company.
The mission was supported by the CV4C project.
As regards the enforcement of the law by DDEF-Co, the mission made the following remarks:
- Granting of the 2018 felling license to Congo Deija Wood Industry on the basis of an incomplete cutting-down request documentation ;
- Granting in 2018 to Entreprise Christelle (EC) of a felling licence with a bole volume higher than conventional forecast ;
- Granting of the 2017 additional felling to Congo Déjia Wood Industry on the basis of unconventional counting ;
- Lack of working site inspection assignment in 2017 and in the first two quarters in 2018 ;
- Failure to penalize Entreprise Christelle and Congo Deija Wood Industry for the breaches of law reported by DDEF-Co during its missions ;
- Application of the article 162 of the Forestry Code in place of the article 158.
As far as the observance of the forestry law by Entreprise CHRISTELLE is concerned the assignment noticed the following facts:
- Absence of the exploitation map, the registers of the timber admitted in the factory and its production ;
- Low keeping of working sites documentation;
- Fraudulent felling of 8,550 plants (4,282 plants of Angueuk which species is not requested by the company; 3,248 plants cut down without any licence and 1,020 plants fell in addition to the quota permitted for all kinds of species) ;
- Non-submission within the allotted deadlines of the information related to the company;
- Failure to mark abutments, saw logs and stumps ;
- Application of fraudulent practices so as to avoid the payment of the felling tax ;
- Non-performance of conventional provisions.
The Independent Observatory recommends that:
- The Forestry Authorities:
- By the Office of Forestry Fund put at the disposal of DDEF-Co the financial resources it is entitled to in order to perform the responsibilities it is has to
- By the Head Office of the Forestry Economy assesses the fulfillment of conventional provisions signed with Congo Deija Wood Industrie and Entreprise Christelle and should the need arise enforces the provisions of the article 156 ofthe Forestry
- Complies strictly with the licensing granting procedures provided by the forestry laws ;
- Penalizes without exception the forestry companies for the breaches of laws dully reported;
- Applies the lawful provisions used for the punishment of the regarded breaches of laws ;
- Checks the facts reported above and if need be initiates contentious proceedings against Entreprise