From May 24-31 to June 11, 2018, a team from the Independent Observatory carried out an independent assignment in the Region of Lekoumou. This task covered the Development Forestry Units (UFE) of Loumongo, Mpoukou-Ogoue and Letili respectively assigned to the companies SIPAM, TIL and SICOFOR.
The mission assessed the enforcement of the laws by the Forest Authorities and the three companies that were visited. It dealt with the activities achieved during the period starting on January 2017 and ending on May 2018. In addition to the collection of the required documents, the team performed on-ground checking on the said companies’ sites.
The mission was supported by the CV4C project.
As far as the enforcement of the laws by DDEF-Lekoumou, the comments made by the team are as follows:
- Licensing in 2018 of the company TIL (UFE Mpoukou-Ogoue) of a felling authorization on the basis of an expired agreement;
- Licensing of the company SICOFOR (UFE Letili) of a 2018 cutting authorization in the UFEM poukou-Ogoue assigned to the company TIL;
- Low level of the performance of forestry site inspection/controls (5%);
- Lack in the activity report of the 1st quarter of the year 2018 regarding information on exploitation and transformation equipment, as well as on the exploitation and transformation rates;
- Low rates of fine collection (12% in 2017 end 0% from January to May 2018) and those of taxes (40%);
- Lack of regulatory provisions in some minutes of law breaches in 2017 ;
- Partial enforcement of the provisions of the article 150 of the Forestry Code ;
- Poor application of the provisions of the article 88 related to the Decree n° 2002-437 ;
- Oversestimation of the 2018 area tax of the company SICOFOR.
Concerning the application of the forestry laws by the companies that were visited, the following remarks were made:
- Out-of-date transmission of the information required from companies such as TIL and SICOFOR ;
- Failure to train workers (SICOFOR) ;
- Lack of dwelling facilities that meet the requirements of given specifications (SICOFOR).
The Independent Observatory advises that:
The Ministry of Forestry Economy :
- Assesses the fulfillment of the company TIL’s CAT and makes an amendmentto the agreement as per provisions of the latter;
- Honors their commitments by signing as soon as possible the setting-up protocol of the USLAB for the companies TIL, ACI and SICOFOR.
- Sets up a competency-strengthening scheme for the Forestry Authorities’workers which shall relate to the litigation management in this particular area ;
- Mends the failures noticed during the ACA 2018’s expert assignment of the company SICOFOR (UFE Letili);
- Solves energetically the forestry litigation which comes from lawful regulations and proceedings in force ;
- Reassesses the 2018’s area tax of the company SICOFOR and signs a newmoratorium by revoking the first one.