The government of the People's Republic of Congo is working on new measures to stop foreign exploitation of forestry.
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Background: The government of the People's Republic of Congo is working on new measures to stop foreign exploitation of forestry. About half the country is forest and timber is by far the Congo's biggest export.
Several countries are interested in financing new timber processing complexes. But the government is anxious to develop the industry itself. The United Nations Development Programme, and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, have set up a forestry training centre for Congolese technicians at Mossendjo in the south-west of the country.
French expatriates make up most of the staff at the centre. There are three departments - timber cutting, the saw mill and carpentry -- and the centre has 120,000 acres of forest at its disposal.
The centre takes 35 trainees. They build low priced pre-fabricated houses from timber unsuitable for export. Their efforts have been so successful that the centre is almost self supporting financially. Workers at the centre also look for new species of timber. So far, they have found 42 varieties that can be commercially exploited.
SYNOPSIS: Half the People's Republic of the Congo is covered with forest. Timber is the country's biggest export and the Congole government is working on new measures to stop foreign exploitation of its forests Here, at the forestry training centre at Mossendjo in the south-west of the Congo technicians are trained for the industry.
The United Nations Development Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation set up the centre. There are three departments -- carpentry, the saw mill and timber cutting.
The centre has a hundred and twenty thousand acres of forest at its disposal The trainers, who've had to work in the trade before, make low priced pre-fabricated houses from timber not suitable for export. The centre is now almost self supporting.
Normally only ten types of wood are cut in the Congo, but since the centre opens six years ago trainees have found another thirty-two species that can be commercially exploited. Due to their efforts the Congolese timber industry is now making use of fourteen of the new varieties. The teaching staff are French. Thirty-five trainees take the two year course. They receive lessons in book-keeping and management as well.