02/21/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

60 Percent Of Congo Logging Contracts Canceled By Government

In an effort to deal with rampant corruption and rising deforestation, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has reviewed and canceled some 60% of logging contracts in the country. After six months of study, backed by the World Bank, only 65 contracts were found to still be viable. These remaining contracts account for about 10 million hectares of forest that can continue to be logged.

Congo environment minister Jose Endundo was quoted by Reuters as saying,

I will proceed within the next 48 hours to notify those applicants having received an unfavorable recommendation from the interministerial commission through decrees canceling their respective conventions. Upon notification of the cancellation decision, the operator must immediately stop cutting timber.

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