African countries agree to curb illegal timber trade in the Congo Basin
A breakthrough for sustainable and legal development of the wood industry
23 October 2013, Brazzaville/Rome - Governments from Africa's main timber producing countries, together with timber industry representatives and civil society organizations agreed to jointly combat illegal timber trade in the Congo Basin, FAO said today following an international wood industry meeting in Brazzaville.
Covering an area of 300 million hectares, the Congo Basin harbours the world's second largest tropical forest. It is also a major supplier of illegal timber, part of a global trade that cost governments some US $10 billion per year in lost tax revenues worldwide.
At an international forum held in Congo's capital Brazzaville from 21-22 October, representatives of six African countries - the Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire and Gabon - adopted the Brazzaville Declaration, marking an unprecedented commitment towards the sustainable and legal development of the wood industry in the region.