|The Forest Trust (TFT), the Fondation Chirac’s major partner in the fight against deforestation and desertification announced on Thursday, March 10, 2011 that the 1.3 million hectares run by the Congolaise Industrielle du Bois (CIB), in the Republic of Congo, are now entirely certified. Now the surface area of certified rainforest in the area is over 5 million hectares.|
Thanks to the support of The Forest Trust (TFT) since 2004, the Congolais Industrielle du Bois (CIB) just achieved FSC certification on the whole of their concessions in the Republic of Congo, that total 1.3 million hectares of certified forests. Several procedures and innovative tools have allowed the CIB to create a solid relationship with the nomadic and semi-nomadic Pygmy communities of the region. This relationship, that is both respectful of their lifestyle and their traditions has led to a better involvement of these populations in the management of the CIB. This is one of the main criteria imposed by the FSC, which are both environmental and social.
Thanks for the innovations brought by the CIB and the TFT, these local populations can take part in decisions that directly affect their environment, habitat, and the natural resources that are found there.
The creation of the Biso na Biso radio is one of the innovative tools that the Fondation Chirac has supported since the beginning. Biso na Biso means “Between Us” in Lingala and is the very first community radio that broadcasts in local languages in the Congo Basin. Since 2007, it has permitted the Pygmies to share information across the vast area they inhabits. “Companies that wanted to engage in sustainable logging operations lacked knowledge of how to engage in a fair way with a largely non-literate, semi-nomadic people,” said Poynton, TFT’s Executive Director. “We brought in scholars with skills, knowledge and relationships with the Pygmy communities to help build these relationships.”
Another tool, that was put into place before the radio, has helped involve the Pygmies in the management of the CIB concessions: GPS and participatory mapping. GPS in hand, after receiving training, the Pygmies are able walk through the forests they use, marking the sacred trees, living areas, and daily resources on their territory.
Since the CIB and the TFT took the initiative, other logging companies in the region have also committed themselves to the certification process. Altogether, their concessions cover 5,3 million hectares of certified rainforest.
Because today deforestation is often caused by the exploitation of natural resources (wood, expanding soybean and palm-oil plantations) destined for international markets, the TFT believes that the solution must begin from within these same markets. The Forest Trust (TFT) is an international non-profit organisation founded in 1999 with the goal of preserving the rainforest.
By creating partnerships with large forestry companies and distributors, the TFT guides these foresters and local communities to help them reach sustainable forest management, recognized by FSC certification (Forest Stewardship Council).
TFT members include large distribution companies including: B&Q in England, Jysk in Danemark, Leroy Merlin, E Leclerc, Castorama, Cora, Brico Depot, Monsieur Bricolage, Botanic and Gamm Vert in France. They are all actively committed to buying wood products that are sourced responsibly. Thanks to the strength of their commitment, illegal logging is curbed, and today over 3 million hectares of primary rainforest and plantations are moving towards to sustainable management in Central Africa (Congo-Brazzavillem Cameroun, Gabon), South-East Asia (Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia), and in South America (Brazil).