Apr 12, 2019
The U.S.-based Environmental Investigation Agency recently published the findings of a four-year investigation into illegal logging practices in the Congo Basin, specifically in the Republic of Congo and Gabon.
Timber sourced from this region makes it ways into supply chains in Europe, China, and the U.S., much of it coming from the Dejia Group, a privately-owned Chinese enterprise. Dejia is a massive enterprise that controls an estimated 1.5 million hectares of land in the Congo Basin, making it one of the most important actors in this story of illicit logging.
Dejia, according to EIA's findings, continuously violated forest laws, turned timber trade regulations upside-down, and diverted millions of dollars in unpaid taxes from local governments. Company representatives also admitted to EIA investigators that they regularly paid bribes to officials for logging permits.
Lisa Handy, a Senior Policy Advisor at EIA, is one of the report's authors and joins Eric & Cobus to talk about the investigation and what her organization recommends can be done to limit the actions of Dejia Group and other logging violators to halt the rapid, and illegal, deforestation of the Congo Basin that is fast becoming an ecological crisis with global implications.
Download the EIA report: Toxic Trade: Forest Crime in Gabon and the Republic of Congo and Contamination of the US Market
Join the Discussion:
What do you think of EIA's findings and what do you think can be done to curtail illegal logging in places like the Congo Basin? Let us know what you think.