The Ministry in charge of Forests in the Republic of Congo

Text by Pierre Bonazebi, Head of Service for the Valorization of NWFP, Directorate for the Valorization of Forest Resources, MDDEFE – Focal Point of the Project GCP/RAF/441/GER in Congo


Since the 15th of September 2009 and through the decree No. 2009-315 about the nomination of the government members, the ministry in charge of forest changed its name to Ministry of Sustainable Development, Forest Economy and Environment (MDDEFE) and is headed by the Minister Henri DJOMBO.

Through the decree No. 229-396 from 13th of October 2009, the Ministry has the task to execute the national policy as defined by the President of the Republic in regard to sustainable development, forest economy and environment.

Its tasks include:

  • Implement the policies and strategies related to its competences,
  • Initiate and/or implement studies and projects for the sustainable management of the forest and environmental sector,
  • Monitor and control the application of rules and regulations in regard to the use of forest resources, hydrographic information and environmental protection.

The structure of the MDDEFE comprises:

  • the cabinet,
  • the directorates attached to the cabinet,
  • the general inspection,
  • the general directorates,
  • the sub-organisations.
Project sign-board in the District of Abala, Congo (Photo: F. Koubouana)

1. The Cabinet

Under the authority of a director, the cabinet assists the minister
in his activities in regard to conceptualization, coordination,
information dissemination, leadership and control within the
ministry. On behalf of the minister, the cabinet governs political,
administrative and technical questions relevant for the ministry.

2. The Directorates attached to the cabinet are

  • The directorate for studies and planning,
  • The directorate for cooperation,
  • The directorate for communication and dissemination,
  • The directorate for the forest fund,
  • The directorate for the fund for environmental protection.

3. The General Inspection

The general inspection is headed by a general inspector with the rank of a general director and its tasks are:

  • Monitor and control the application of rules and regulations in regard to sustainable management, forest resources, wildlife and environmental protection,
  • Evaluation of programs, activities and budgets of centralized services and decentralized services at departmental level and of sub-organisms,
  • Control the progress and respect of the directory of services and investment plans of forest and hunting enterprises and sub-organisms.

Beside the directorate’s secretary, the administrative and financial department and the special mobile intervention group, the general inspection comprises:

  • Inspection for sustainable development,
  • Inspection for forest,
  • Inspection for forest and protected areas,
  • Inspection for environmental protection,
  • Inspection for administrative, legal and financial affairs, unit for forest legality and traceability.
Preparation of base line studies in the District of Abala, Congo

4. General Directorates

The ministry consists of three general directorates:

a)     General directorate for sustainable development in charge of:


  • Elaboration of a national strategy for a sustainable development,
  • Harmonization of national policies and strategies in regard
    to sustainable development,
  • Enhancing the implementation of sustainable development principles.
  • Directorate for ecology and natural resources,
  • Directorate for sector regulations and harmonization,
  • Director for the promotion of socio-economical values,
  • Administrative and financial Directorate.

b)    General directorate for forest economy in charge of:


  • Designing and implementation of the policy for the development
    of the forest sector,
  • Provide support to studies in regard to the development of the
    forest sector,
  • Designing and technical monitoring of the implementation of programs
    and projects for forests, wildlife and protected areas as well as
    conservation of soils, catchment areas, water sources, rivers and surface water bodies.
  • Directorate for forest,
  • Directorate for wildlife and protected areas,
  • Directorate for the valorization of forest resources,
  • Administrative and financial Directorate.
  • Regional Directorates for forest economy,
  • Directorate for protected areas.  

c)     General directorate for environment


  • Designing and implementing a national environmental policy,
  • Monitor the conservation of natural ecosystems,
  • Prevention of environmental pollution and harm,
  • Elaboration and implementation of environmental management
  • Directorate for the conservation of natural ecosystems,
  • Directorate for the prevention of environmental pollution and harm,
  • Directorate for legal aspects and education,
  • Administrative and financial Directorate,
  • Departmental directorates for environment.

Challenges in the forest sector

Most forest concessions in the northern part of the country elaborated their management plans but the concessionaries in the southern part of Congo are behind within this process.

The ongoing revision of the forestry law should internalize COMIFAC’s Sub-regional guidelines for a sustainable use of non-wood forest products from plant origin in Central Africa.

last updated:  Tuesday, November 23, 2010