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Protecting the integrity of Intact Forest Landscapes in the Congo Basin

Over the past two years, Interholco and IFO participated in the High Conservation Values Regional Working Group for the Congo Basin (HCV-RWG) to find a solution for the protection and management of Intact Forest Landscapes (IFL).  The role of the HCV-RWG is of vital importance in: determining the detailed content of protection for High Conservation Values in Principle 9 of the FSC national standards that are being developed; developing indicators for identifying, monitoring and managing IFLs; and,addressing Motion 65, which was passed at the 7th FSC General Assembly (Seville, September 2014), at the sub-regional level. The HCV-RWG is composed of 4 FSC members from each social, environmental and economic chamber, assisted by a group of experts from research institutions. In the last meeting from 5 to 7 April 2018, specific protection and management prescriptions were agreed upon by the 3 chambers, which need to be approved by FSC International. On 01 January 2017, the Interholco concession, FMU Ngombé, has 530'000 ha of Intact Forest Landscape. Various scientific studies show that the integrity of the IFL in the Congo Basin is hardly affected by forest management, thanks to the very low intensity harvest which, combined with Reduced Impact Logging, protects the forest landscape and avoids conversion to agriculture and intrusion by poachers. Interholco will implement the additional specific IFL measures approved by FSC, adapted management practices and preservation of a core protection area, to keep maintaining the integrity of Intact Forest Landscapes.


FRMi, IFO, 2016, ‘Note de reflexion sur la définition, la mesure et la cartographie du caractère intact d’un paysage forestier, contribution à la prise en compte des IFL dans la gestion des concessions forestières’, Rép. du Congo, 27 p.

Healey JR, Kleinschroth F, s.d., ‘How forests recover rapidly on logging roads in the Congo Basin’, www.landscapes.org/.Kleinschroth, F., Healey, J.R., Sist, P., Mortier, F. & GourletFleury, S.  (2016). ‘How persistent are the impacts of logging roads on Central African forest vegetation?’ Journal of Applied Ecology  (published on-line ) onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/13652664.12661/abstractKleinschroth, F., Healey, J.R. & Gourlet-Fleury, S.  (2016 ). ‘Sparing forests in Central Africa: re-use old logging roads to avoid creating new ones’. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14: 9-10. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/FEEKleinscrothletter.1/epdf  Medjibe V.P., Putz F. E., Starkey M. P., Ndouna A. A., Memiaghe H. R., ‘Impacts of selective logging on above-ground forest biomass in the Monts de Cristal in Gabon’, in Forest Ecology and Management 262 (2011) 1799–1806.Putz, FE, et al. 2012, 'Sustaining conservation values in selectively logged tropical forests: the attained and the attainable', Conservation Letters, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 296–303Winrock, Brown S. et al., ‘Impact of selective logging on the carbon stocks of tropical forests: Rep. of Congo as a case study’, Deliverable 6: Logging impacts on carbon stocks.