Republic of Congo

Key Statistics

Percentage of timber production estimated to be illegal: c. 70% iLawson, S (2014) Illegal Logging in the Republic of the Congo
Forest Area: 22,263,000 ha iiChatham House, Forest Governance and Legality –Republic of Congo (2015)
Forest loss in 2020: c. 64,500 ha iiiGlobal Forest Watch Dashboard – Republic of Congo (2020)
Principal threats to forests: Industrial logging, infrastructure development


Country Background

In the Republic of Congo, almost 90% of the country’s forest area is dedicated to timber production – almost exclusively in the form of large industrial forest concessions. Consequently, many communities find their ancestral lands lie within a concession, despite never having provided their free, prior and informed consent to the establishment or ongoing operations of the company. As elsewhere in Africa, industrial logging has brought them negligible benefits and the majority of the population lives in poverty.

Key Achievements

  • Expanding footprint of community based monitoring: In 2021, the ForestLink application was rolled out in the Sangha department the north of the country. The department holds some of the largest and most politically influential industrial logging concessions in the Congo Basin. In October of the same year, CJJ undertook their first verification mission as communities in several areas of the country reported illegalities.
  • Technical training for key institutions: Key governmental departments, including the Direction Générale des Forêts (DGF) of the Ministère de l’Economie Forestière (MEF), have suggested further training on ForestLink in the coming months, and have praised the role the system could play in reducing illegalities.
  • An active civil society: The organisations CIRECK (Sangha), EJID (Niari), and ACNL (Likouala) have been trained on ForestLink. Following in the footsteps of the successful SNOIE model in Cameroon, civil society organisations will have the ability to access alerts in the ForestLink system and carry out verification missions with the forest authorities.

Communities involved


Community monitors trained


Alerts received


ForestLink Start Date


“We are thrilled about the resuming of the RTM project activities, and we want more capacity building to know our rights better, and better defend our livelihoods.”

Mr Jean SAYA BITA, village chef in Ngonaka, Lekoumou, September 2020.

“If everywhere we are educated about forest law, the forest will be respected”

RoC, Community Member

“ForestLink technology is innovative, the agents of the Departmental Directorate of Lékoumou are impatiently awaiting their training on Monitaur.“

Mr. Cédric KIYINDOU,
The Head of Center for Development of Forest Resources (CVRF).