On 18 November, a significant milestone was reached in the fight to protect Vietnam’s forests. The EU and Vietnam agreed ‘in principle’ on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), establishing a legal framework promoting legal logging, ensuring that the nation’s forests are managed in line with social and environmental laws and that timber products from Vietnam are verifiably legal.
After nearly six years of negotiations, Vietnam and the European Union have agreed in principle on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to improve forest governance, address illegal logging and promote trade in verified legal timber products from Vietnam to the EU. Vietnam and the EU expect to ratify the agreement in 2017.
Swedish Administrative Courts today confirmed a ruling that a certificate issued by the Myanmar Forest Products Merchants’ Federation (MFPMF) did not provide adequate proof that a shipment of teak imported into Sweden had been legally harvested.
As of today, November 15, Indonesia becomes the first country to issue licences under the EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative. These will exempt timber and wood products from further due diligence under the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and European operator importers are expecting to receive their first licensed cargoes before the end of the year.
Indonesia and the EU launch are hailing “a major milestone” in the global fight to end illegal logging, with the launch today of Indonesia’s FLEGT licensing scheme for exports to the EU of verified legal timber products.
Finding solutions to underlying land-use governance challenges is essential to reduce deforestation driven by agricultural commodity production - that was the takeaway message from the EU side event on tropical forest governance on Tuesday, 8 November at COP22 in Marrakech.
Representatives from EU institutions, REDD+ and FLEGT stakeholders and NGOs gathered at the European Parliament on 12 October in Brussels to discuss corruption risks and strategies to stamp out environmental crime in African countries.