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Story Publication logo April 10, 2024

Who are the Real Artisanal Loggers in the DRC?


A red and blue truck carrying a load of logs.

Artisanal timber harvesting in the DRC has become the preserve of the authorities and their families...

Video by Alfred Ntumba.

Over the past 10 years, the Congolese forest has become an El Dorado and, above all, a far-west for illegal artisanal loggers. This business is conducted under the eye of government at all levels.

Members of the former governor's cabinet, councillors, deputies, army officers, magistrates are all involved in illegal artisanal logging. As their functions are incompatible with the timber trade, they make their wives or children the owners of the timber. But in case of problems, these authorities are the ones who follow up. 

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Administrative harassment, political permits, the non-issuing of logging permits, and the lack of forest control are all ingredients that contribute to the sustainability of illegal artisanal logging in the DRC. 

Confronted with this situation, some artisanal loggers have decided to structure themselves into a cooperative or network in order to encourage decision-makers to play their role in supervising the artisanal timber sector.


yellow halftone illustration of two construction workers moving a wheelbarrow of dirt


Extractive Industries

Extractive Industries
a yellow halftone illustration of a truck holding logs





yellow halftone illustration of a logging truck holding logs


Rainforest Reporting

Rainforest Reporting

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