The forest verification system exists in Congo, governed by the 2000 forest legislation and led by many forest administration organs. Presently, the system falls short of its expected performance and objectives, especially because of lack of technological means and a centralised forest information system. The effective introduction of an Independent Observer feeds prospects that it will enhance the verification dynamic in Congo’s forest sector; especially it will train a national civil society to take up forest verification in the medium term. Two major lessons can be learned from this system. First, the efficiency of a verification system does not depend on the multiplicity of organs, if those organs do not have clearly separated mandates. Second, the presence of an independent observer does not automatically guarantee good results, even if it is a multinational which verifies timber exports.
Samuel Assembe Mvondo