Illegal Logging in the Democratic Republic of Congo - Energy, Environment and Resources documents | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2014
ISBN / Resource ID: 
Chatam House - Energy, Environment and Resources EER PP 2014/03


This paper is part of a broader Chatham House study which assesses illegal logging and the associated trade. The study, which began in 2006, measures the nature and extent of the problem, and the effectiveness of the response by both the government and the private sector in a number of producer, processing and consumer countries.



  • Although nearly all industrial logging in the DRC is licensed in some way, there are widespread and serious breaches of regulations in the production of much of this timber;
  • A confused regulatory framework and lack of rule of law make independent verification or legal or sustainable timber production virtually impossible;
  • Nearly 90% of logging in the country is illegal or informal small-scale logging to supply domestic and regional markets, and the volume of this kind of harvest is estimated to have doubled in the last six years;
  • There is little transparency in the forest sector, law enforcement is weak, and government capture of revenue is limited;
  • While some progress has been made in recent years, including the implementation of measures to tackle the misuse of artisanal permits and the promotion of multi-stakeholder participation in decision-making, there is a great deal left to do if forest governance is to improved.

This paper is also available in French below.

Related reports on the

And a methodology for import-source estimates of illegally sourced wood imports are also available.


Organisation: Chatham House

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Source photo: Global Witness

Authors and Publishers


The Illegal Logging Portal, hosted and maintained by Chatham House, provides information on illegal logging and the trade in illegal timber. It provides an overview of some of the key issues and developments, and includes a searchable database of documents and news items from around the world.

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