The EU and Vietnam signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). The agreement will help improve forest governance, address illegal logging and promote trade in verified legal timber products from Vietnam to the EU, and other markets.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has released a report detailing unabated illegal logging, timber laundering and smuggling in Cambodia. The report follows earlier EIA reports on Vietnam’s trade in timber illegally harvested in, and illegally imported from, its neighbours. The new report, titled ‘Serial Offender: Vietnam’s continued imports of illegal Cambodian timber,’ finds corrupt officials on both sides complicit.
The third meeting of the multistakeholder group set up to support implementation of the EU-Vietnam Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on forest law enforcement, governance and trade took place on 8 March 2018 in Hanoi.
Illegal logging and the associated trade is a major cause of deforestation and forest degradation globally. Indonesian and Vietnamese experts from the government, private and civil society sectors speak to Gitika Bhardwaj about the state of the trade in both southeast Asian countries.
More than 100 customs, forestry, and anti-corruption officials and civil society representatives from countries in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum met in Vietnam from 18-19 August 2017 to share best practices for identifying illegal timber and wood products.
The head of Tan Hoi village sits cross-legged on the floor describing the pressures his people face. “The older generation lacks education. The younger ones leave school as early as 11. Only one person has ever graduated from university as most people don’t have the resources to be able to afford it,” says Lê Văn Bức, a wiry, softly-spoken man in his 40s.
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.