Global Witness says Vietnam’s recently-signed Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the European Union can and must prevent the country from ‘becoming a new global timber laundering hub.’ Instead, the Agreement can ensure that Vietnam plays ‘a crucial role’ in protecting the world’s threatened rainforests.
In March 2017, South Korea revised the Act on the Sustainable Use of Timbers, a milestone in its efforts to promote legal timber trade. The EU FLEGT Facility has published a brief that describes similarities and differences between the revised Act and the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR).
A study commissioned by the Global Timber Forum reveals that women workers in Ghana’s wood processing sector are much less visible than their male counterparts yet are involved in multiple areas of the value chain. This involvement ranges from the administration, labour and through to acting as financiers of business.
Our new investigation conclusively shows that tropical timber across the Solomon Islands is being harvested on an unsustainable scale, and that much of the activity driving this environmental destruction is at high risk of being illegal. If the growing degradation of the Solomon Islands’ tropical forests carries on unchecked, it will have a disastrous and irreparable impact on the country’s environment. The loss of this carbon sink would also have a significant impact on climate change.
How can trade policies promote and support governance reforms in developing countries so that forest resources contribute to sustainable development? A panel discussion on the FLEGT initiative hoped to provide an answer to this question. The session, moderated by Jussi Viitanen, Head of the EU FLEGT and REDD Facilities at the European Forest Institute, took place at the recent WTO Public Forum in Geneva.
Nongovernmental organisation Fern says the EU’s new free trade deal with Japan threatens global efforts to tackle illegal logging, including its own action plan. The deal, which was agreed in July 2018 and is in the processing of being ratified, is the world’s largest bilateral trade agreement.
The FLEGT Independent Market Monitor (IMM) has launched a dashboard that provides access to statistical data on imports into the European Union (EU) of timber, paper and pulp from the 15 countries either supplying FLEGT-licensed timber or that are implementing or negotiating a FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU in May 2018.
A new report reveals that many forest operations in Papua New Guinea (PNG) violate the law, despite holding Government permits. PNG is China’s single largest supplier. By buying timber from PNG and exporting to markets that ban illegal timber imports, such as the European Union or the United States, China therefore risks damaging its reputation and major trade relationships.