News  |  12.11.2020

Regulation on the social contract clause agreement forest concession in DRC

The FIB initiated a study for a better implementation of the regulatory texts governing social clause agreements in the DRC.

Regulation on the social contract clause agreement forest concession in DRC


Since the promulgation of Law No. 011/2002 of 29 August 2002 on the Forestry Code in the DRC, the actors involved in logging activities have been subject to reciprocal obligations. This concerns in particular the conclusion of the social clause agreement between the forest concessionaires and the local communities and / or indigenous peoples bordering the forests concerned.

The first ministerial decree (No. 023) dated June 7, 2010, fixes the model social agreement forming an integral part of the specifications for forest concessions. This section of the specifications sets out the process for raising awareness, negotiating, signing, implementing and monitoring social clause agreements.

Subsequently, over the period from 2011 to 2018, there was the evaluation of the first generation of agreements of these social clauses, which were concluded between the concessions and the local communities. This evaluation found that certain disposal of the 2010 decree were becoming difficult to apply. Thus, the stakeholders (private sector forest industry, administration and civil society) have revised the model agreement to take into account the lessons learned from the first years of implementation of the ministerial decree cited above.

A new ministerial decree No. 072 was therefore published on November 12, 2018 following a new consensus between the stakeholders.

Following this new decree, the first social clause agreements were negotiated and concluded at the end of 2019, in particular within the

companies SODEFOR (Société de développement Forestier) and IFCO (Industrie Forestière du Congo)

 Study initiated by FIB:

However, it is clear that the review of the compliance of social clause agreements has posed problems, the Administration does not seem to agree with the forest concessionaires on certain provisions of this new decree of 2018.

Concerned about the better implementation of regulatory texts governing social clause agreements in the DRC; the Federation of Wood Industrialists (FIB), with the collaboration of the International Technical Association of Tropical Wood (ATIBT) which is the beneficiary of the FLEGT-REDD and FLEGT-IP projects and the PPECF2 program financed respectively by the European Union - the Fund Français pour l'Environnement et le KfW, initiated an analytical essay around Ministerial Decree No. 72 of 2018.

The objective is to improve the knowledge of private sector actors in the forest-timber sector in DR Congo to properly prepare them for advocacy with other stakeholders, particularly with the services of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.


The findings of the study should enable stakeholders to have a common understanding on the key aspects of developing a social clause agreement and resolving differences.

The conclusions of this analysis show that it appears necessary to further popularize Ministerial Decree No. 072 / CAB / EDD / DRCE / 00 / AAN / 2018 of 12 November 2018 setting the model agreement constituting the social clause, and to provide a guide for the compliance review. This guide should constitute an analytical tool for the validation of the social clause agreement.

This study, and with regard to the grid of grievances addressed to companies, made it possible to identify the elements of blockages between the forest concessionaires and the Forestry Administration. Specific recommendations are formulated on the points of divergence identified.


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