Transitions from war are tough. When grievances smolder and economies fail to recover, most countries fall into a “conflict trap” and war resumes. To escape the trap, post-conflict governments often exploit forests, minerals, and other natural resources to jump-start war-torn economies.
Representatives from eight member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) shared their achievements in developing reliable timber legality assurance systems at a workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia from 6-8 December 2016.
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.
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.
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.
Over 100 government, private sector and civil society representatives from China and African timber-exporting countries gathered in Beijing for the 3rd China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform.
The Environmental Investigation Agency has published a briefing on how teak exports from Myanmar/Burma to the European Union are in breach of the EU Timber Regulation. The briefing details the results of an EIA investigation into Burmese teak entering the EU market.