FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements are aiding an evolution in the implementation and impacts of independent forest monitoring in West and Central Africa, according to a new brief by the consultancy Palladium International. The report is based on inputs from 19 civil society organisations and individuals, and it covers eight countries in West and Central Africa.
Thailand and the European Union (EU) have held their first negotiations towards a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to improve forest governance and promote trade in verified legal timber products.
On 21-23 June 2017, the European Commission met with stakeholders from across the world to discuss future work on tackling deforestation and illegal logging. The meeting, in Brussels, attracted more than 250 representatives from timber producer and consumer countries, private sector and civil society, indigenous and local communities, European Union Member States, and international organisations.
It’s a myth that money doesn’t grow on trees — a glance at any timber baron’s bank balance would confirm that. But for people living near tropical forests it has long been clear that when money flows to logging companies, there is little left behind for local development. Now, in Liberia, that is all changing, thanks in part to a trade deal called a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) the country negotiated with the EU.
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.
The major threat to tropical forests today comes not from loggers but from large-scale forest clearance to meet rising demand for agricultural commodities. Recognising this, governments and businesses around the world are increasingly pledging to eradicate deforestation from supply chains of such commodities.