According to an African proverb, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.’ The growing involvement of civil society in managing natural resources in the Central African Republic seems to indicate that the country is prepared to go far.
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.
At the International Workshop on China-Africa Sustainable Forest Ecosystem Management, participants from Europe, China and Africa discussed synergies among green finance, China’s engagement in Africa, and Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).
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.
The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) has released a Briefing Note on developments relevant to the implementation and enforcement of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR). The note, which covers the period from February to March 2018, was developed by UNEP-WCMC as a consultant of the European Commission in close cooperation with the competent authorities of the European Union (EU) Member States.
The reports of two joint observation missions carried out in the Central African Republic in August and December 2017 have been published. These missions included representatives from the Ministry of water, forests, hunting and fishing, as well as from the Mandated Independent Observation - Centre for Environmental and Sustainable Development Information.
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the Product Scope of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR), which will run until 24 April 2018. Operators, traders, affected industry and/or trade associations, EU Member States' EUTR Competent Authorities, Monitoring Organisations under the EUTR, civil society organisations, non-EU timber-producing countries and the general public are invited to provide their views and evidence on possible changes to the EUTR product scope.
BVRio is organizing the first international timber trade fair dedicated to promoting the trade of 100% legal and certified timber. The Responsible Timber Trade Fair will connect buyers and sellers of legal and certified timber products, focusing on West African timber. The event will be held in Accra, Ghana, 28 February – 2 March 2018.
The FLEGT Independent Market Monitor (IMM) has published the first edition of its quarterly newsletter, featuring updates on the IMM project, market and policy news, and interviews with key FLEGT actors.
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.