The DRC government has announced imminent plans to lift a near 20-year ban on new logging concessions operations in its Congo Basin rainforest - one of the last intact rainforests in the world. With less than six weeks to go before the crucial climate negotiations at COP26, Environmental and Human Rights NGOs are calling on the European governments currently negotiating a purported USD 1 billion forest protection agreement plan with the DRC, to intervene.
“We are standing on the precipice of an historic failure to protect one of the world's great rainforests - and possibly the last still serving as a carbon sink. Any expansion - rather than a scaling back of industrial logging - will inevitably result in an unstoppable ‘cascade of deforestation’, threatening millions of hectares of forest and the communities that depend on it.” warned Joe Eisen, Executive Director of Rainforest Foundation UK.
The demand that any new agreement with the DRC government be conditional on a binding commitment to extend the moratorium is detailed in the letter sent today to the ministers of development, environment and foreign affairs in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, and the UK, as well as the European Commission, all members of CAFI (Central African Forest Initiative).