When civil society organisations in Indonesia began proposing ways to end illegal logging, they knew they had a mountain to climb. In 2002, some 80 percent of logging there was illegally. Corruption and conflict were widespread. Trust was lacking.
The EU FLEGT Facility has published a briefing based on research into flows of timber and investments between the China and the six countries that have signed Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU.
Fern's new report is based on interviews with some of the biggest global producers and users of agricultural products. It finds that consumer-country governments should apply FLEGT-style VPAs to agricultural commodities.
After playing a key role in implementing their country’s FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the EU, Indonesian civil society groups are sharing experiences with counterparts in other countries engaged in the initiative.
The Danish Competent Authority last week required seven companies to make improvements to their due diligence systems if they are to sell teak imported from Myanmar on the EU market. The case raises questions about whether it is currently possible to place timber from Myanmar on the EU market while meeting the obligations of the EU Timber Regulation.
By highlighting the decade of successes already achieved during the negotiation and implementation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements to end illegal logging, civil society from timber producing countries explain where EU policy should go next.
Every year, the National Timber Office of Benin (ONAB) produces around 50 000 cubic metres of logs from 14 000 hectares of state plantations. Local businesses buy the timber, mainly teak, before processing and exporting much of it to international markets.
Mists of uncertainty and misunderstanding have shrouded China's role in African forests in recent years. These are beginning to clear and, thanks to initiatives such as the China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform, the prospects for true China-Africa forest partnerships look more promising than ever.