Empowering demand side measures to stop illegal logging by improving access to information (2015-2025)
To help ensure that information collected by monitors has the maximum impact on strengthening forest governance, REM is developing the Open Timber Portal (OTP) in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI). The OTP is the world's largest database on forest infractions with over 2,000 recorded to date. We provide strategic support to Congo Basin IMs to make their data more actionable by EUTR and EUDR actors.
Our partners and Congo Basin IMs are FLAG in Cameroon, Brainforest in Gabon, OGF and the RENOI NGO network in RDC and CAGDF as associated partners, in Congo Brazzaville, of the OTP project. Here are their monitoring reports:
Congo Basin IFM reports 2021-2023 (In French)
CONGO BRAZZAVILLE: CAGDF reports
Publications CAGDF 2023
Rapport de mission OI N°08 Niari. Sociétés concernées: Asia Congo Industrie (ACI); Sino-Congo Forêt (SICOFOR)
Rapport de mission OI N°07 Lekoumou. Sociétés concernées: Taman Industries Limited (TIL); Société Sciages Industriels Panneaux
Rapport de mission OI N°06 Likouala. Sociétés concernées: LIKOUALA TIMBER; MOKABI S.A; BOIS ET PLACAGE DE LOPOLA (BPL)
Rapport de mission OI N°05 Sangha – publication 09/2023. Sociétés concernées: INDUSTRIE FORESTIERE DE OUESSO (IFO); SOCIETE INDUSTRIELLE ET FORESTIERE DU CONGO (SIFCO); SOCIETE D’EXPLOITATION FORESTIERE YUAN DONG (SEFYD)
Publications CAGDF 2021-2022
Etude diagnostique du CLUSTER BOIS - Menuiserie de SIBITI
Rapport de mission OI N°04 CUVETTE-OUEST. Sociétés concernées: Entreprise CHRISTELLE, CONGO DEIJA WOOD INDUSTRY
Rapport de mission OI N°03 CUVETTE. Sociétés concernées: WANG SAM RESSOURCES
Rapport de mission OI N°02 KOUILOU. Sociétés concernées: EMERSON-BOIS S.A; AFRIWOOD INDUSTRIES; COTRANS Construction Services Sarl
Rapport de mission OI N°01 BOUENZA. Sociétés concernées: CFF-BOIS INTERNATIONAL; BTC
GABON: BRAINFOREST reports
Publications Brainforest 2022
Rapport de mission N°01 REMBOUE Province de l'Estuaire, Département KOMO KANGO. Permis CFAD HUA JIA et CFAD IBNG
Rapport de mission OI N°11 Province du Woleu-Ntem; Permis CDG ET TTIB
REPUBLIQUE DEMOCRATIQUE DU CONGO (RDC): OGF and RENOI NGO reports inc. OCEAN, Arbre, CEPECO/Boma, AJBS (Association des Jeunes pour le Bien-être Social), CEPECO
Publications OGF et RENOI 2023
Rapport de mission OI N°22 Province du Haut-Uélé. L’exploitation artisanale de bois d’œuvre
Rapport de mission OI N°19 Province du Kongo Central. Observations Réserve de Biosphère de Luki; Port de la Société Congo DIHAO alias Port de BAKUYANGA; Exploitants forestiers artisanaux
Rapport de mission OI N°18 Province de la Tshopo; Exploitation artisanale de bois d’œuvre
Publications OGF et RENOI 2022
Rapport de mission OI N°16 Province de la Mongala. Sociétés: COKIBAFODE CCF 004/20, BOOMING GREEN 052/14 et FORABOLA 036/11
Mission de suivi du couvert forestier dans la réserve de Luki, Province du Kongo Central
Note thématique: délivrance tardive des permis de coupe industrielle de bois d'oeuvre aux concessionaires forestiers et ses conséquences en RDC
Publications OGF et RENOI 2021
Rapport de mission OI RENOI de suivi des mesures aux ports de Kinkole et communiqué de presse
The Open Timber Portal is an online platform hosted and maintained by WRI that supports the application of demand side measures against illegal logging like the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) and the US Lacey Act. It does this by addressing a fundamental need - information. EUTR authorities cannot seize illegal timber if they lack the information needed to assess legality. The OTP combines information from Independent Monitors, logging companies, WRI Forest Atlases and Global Forest Watch into a one-stop-shop for reliable data on the logging sector. It also presents information according to specific user needs. REM works with WRI and other partners to:
- Integrate Independent Forest Monitoring data into the OTP from around the world
- Establish best practices to ensure that independent monitors collect information easily applied to EUTR legality due diligence
- Design the database according to user needs at both ends of the timber supply chain
- Test the OTP in real-life use cases
Why the OTP?
Demand side measures to fight illegal logging, such as the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR), require reliable, concise and clear information on illegal forest exploitation in order to be effective. Independent Forest Monitors (IFM) provide such information in their reports, however EUTR actors rarely use these reports to their full potential for several reasons, such as difficulty in: accessing information published in different formats on different websites; gathering information on a specific company; and, perhaps most important, interpreting the severity of observations. There are also issues concerning the quality of information provided by IFMs, especially allegations of illegal activity.
To help ensure that monitors collect reliable information on illegal logging and that demand side actors use this information effectively, the World Resources Institute (WRI), REM and FLAG are closely working with Civil Society IFMs in the Congo Basin, Africa and EUTR actors to develop improved systems to collect, manage and apply information on illegal logging and governance problems to EUTR due diligence or FLEGT legality verification .
The final database will provide a single point of entry for any stakeholder wishing to obtain explicit information on a specific logging company or timber producing country (forest governance) that is presented in a demand side measure friendly format. Links to complete and detailed investigation reports will be accessible from this database to enable deeper investigations. REM has populated the database with information from global mandated and non mandated Independent Forests Monitors and met with some of those IFM in the Congo Basin to define thresholds of severity for all major forest infractions, as well as governance indicators.
The Open Timber Portal was designed jointly by the World Resources Institute and partners in government agencies, civil society and the private sector. The following groups have helped develop the concept and with testing the site:
Resource Extraction Monitoring (REM)
Field Legality Advisory Group (FLAG)
Observatoire de la Gouvernance Forestière (OGF)
Cercle d’Appui à la Gestion Durable des Forêts (CAGDF)
Conseil pour la Défense Environnementale par la Légalité et la Traçabilité (CODELT)
Improving the quality of data on illegal logging
A four-day regional workshop on the Open Timber portal (OTP) was held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo in November 2017 for Independent Forest Monitors (IM), the partners of the CIDT CV4C project. The training showed participants how data management tools such as OTP (online data management system designed by WRI with the support of key partners including REM, FLAG, OGF and CAGDF) can help them prepare, prioritise their missions and publish their results. The IMs were able to provide comments on the OTP which will be taken into account before the publication of the live version. The workshop was also an excellent opportunity for IMs to work together to improve their methods and ensure that their data is useful for law enforcement such as the EUTR.