Country-focused commodity analysis in the context of the Bio-Macht project (Project-ID: 031B0235B)

Due Diligence, Certification and Legality Verification of Timber from the DR Congo

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This report aims at a review of due diligence, certification and legality verification schemes in the context of timber from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Illegal logging and trade of timber is a major social, environmental and economic issue for the DRC such as deforestation, degradation, biodiversity loss and subsequently climate impacts. In order to face these challenges, the European Union has launched its Timber Regulation in 2010 setting mandatory due diligence requirements for timber imports into the EU. Furthermore, with FSC and PEFC, internationally acknowledged sustainability certification schemes have been developed in order to tackle the mentioned hot spots. However, in the context of the DRC, these voluntary sustainability certification schemes have not been applied yet. Instead, a number of legality verification schemes have been developed aiming to contribute to due diligence and legality verification. Hence, beyond the downstream perspective from the EU, this study also covers the most relevant legality verification mechanisms from the upstream perspective of the DRC. Subsequently, a brief comparison with the case of Ghana as an example of a more advanced timber governance system is elaborated. Finally, conclusions for the case of the DRC are drawn.