Global food and agri-business Olam International has achieved Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for its Mimbeli-Ibenga forestry concession, which means all of the natural forest concessions of its subsidiary, CIB-Olam in the Republic of Congo are now 100% FSC certified.
The Mimbeli-Ibenga concession, which covers 650,000 hectares, is CIB-Olam’s fourth FSC certified concession in the Republic of Congo, and brings the total area of natural forest being sustainably and responsibly managed by CIB-Olam in the country to 2.9 million hectares.
“We are proud to have achieved this milestone of becoming FSC certified for all of our operations in the Republic of Congo. Sustainable and responsible forestry has always been central to our approach and this certification underscores our commitment to continue to implement sustainable practices that respect local communities and protect biodiversity in the region”, said Darshan Raiyani, Senior Vice President and Head of Olam’s Wood Products business.
CIB-Olam became the first to achieve FSC certification in the Republic of Congo in 2006 as part of its commitment to responsible and sustainable forestry. A quarter of its certified concessions is permanently protected and reserved for the communities. In harvestable areas it is committed to strict Reduced Impact Logging techniques and selective harvesting at levels significantly below those permitted by national regulations.
“As we begin the implementation of our new Global Strategic Plan, CIB-Olam is truly setting the pace for tropical forest certification and a significant partner to FSC ”, said Kim Carstensen, Managing Director FSC International.
“In the Africa Region, CIB-Olam leads a new approach to a wood-based economic development model in the Congo Basin, which combines responsible harvesting and secondary processing. The FSC Africa Programme applauds and supports this approach”, commented Harrison Kojwang, Regional Director FSC Africa.