This story excerpt was translated from French. To read the original story in full, visit Actualite. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
This article is one of a series produced as part of an investigation into the conditions under which logging concessions are allocated, operated and marketed
Gabriel Mola Motya, president of the Federation of Timber Industries (FIB), believes that the DRC could produce more timber without damaging its forest ecosystems. He calls for the lifting of the moratorium and questions the Ministry of the Environment on the consequences of revisiting logging contracts.
"With the war in Ukraine, the Europeans reopened the coal mines, they asked permission from whom? We've been under a moratorium for 21 years, although it was for three years. And to lift this moratorium, we must refer to these people of the European Union, the World Bank, and other donors who are fiercely opposed to the lifting of the moratorium, "said Gabriel Mola Motya during an interview with ACTUALITE.CD last March.
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And to continue:
"We do not pollute, we consume carbon dioxide with our forests while they grow. It is there that it is necessary to make a big work of conscientisation, of sensitization, a pedagogical work to make understand to the Congolese that there is an imbalance, that is not going. Especially that there is a processing plant in the new Special Economic Zone but to transform the wood locally and make finished products, it must be cut a lot, so we must open the game, what good is it to let these forests die like that because of global warming?"
For the boss of the federation, because of the moratorium, the Democratic Republic of Congo is lagging behind the other countries of the Congo Basin and is unfairly penalized.
"Gabon has 24 million hectares of forest. Of these 24 million, 14 million are for timber production, 2 million are reserved for agricultural activities and the remaining 8 million are for conservation activities. The DRC, according to statistics, has about 150 million hectares and of these 150 million, less than 10% are conceded, that must represent 10 million or 11 million hectares. And even in this 10%, there are those that have been converted into conservation contracts, which means that we are around 7 million hectares of forest intended for permanent wood production, whereas Gabon has 14 million. Cameroon, which has, I believe, 60 million hectares of forest, has about 40 million hectares that are put into production," he said during this interview.