This month, Indonesia and the EU marked the second anniversary of a major milestone in their partnership against illegal logging — the launch of the world’s first ‘FLEGT’ licensing scheme, guaranteeing the legality of timber products exported to the EU.
Looking back into a past of chaos, corruption and crime, Indonesia has clearly come a long way in reforming its timber sector. During the 1990s and early 2000s, illegal logging was so widespread that more than 70-80 per cent of timber produced in Indonesia was sourced illegally.
Indonesia’s Independent Forest Monitoring Network (JPIK) says the country’s timber legality assurance system (SVLK) has led to “significant changes in improving good forest governance” but still has weaknesses and must be continuously improved to ensure its credibility and accountability.
In this exclusive interview with the ETTF, European Commission Director General for the Environment Daniel Calleja Crespo describes the first year of FLEGT licensing by Indonesia as a great start. Now, he says, it’s the responsibility of all stakeholders to capitalise on the opportunities presented by this unique timber legality initiative and to take the wider EU FLEGT Action Plan forward.
Indonesia and the EU have released a joint report on progress in implementing the Voluntary Partnership Agreement from May 2015 to December 2016. The report describes progress made with the timber legality assurance system, institutional improvements, stakeholder engagement, communication, transparency and monitoring of the agreement.
Indonesia and the EU have held a conference to celebrate the first anniversary of the scheme licensing certified legal timber products that Indonesia exports to the EU. Since the start of FLEGT licensing, named after the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan, Indonesia has shipped certified legal timber products worth more than EUR 1 billion to the EU to operators in all 28 EU Member States.
A new paper in the journal Regulation & Governance analyses the implementation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) in Indonesia and Ghana under the European Union (EU) Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.