On a cool grey day in Belgium last month, a group of visitors from Guyana gathered at Antwerp port and imagined a future in which their country’s timber products flow freely into the EU, bypassing red tape because every item has been verified to be legal.
Looking back into a past of chaos, corruption and crime, Indonesia has clearly come a long way in reforming its timber sector. During the 1990s and early 2000s, illegal logging was so widespread that more than 70-80 per cent of timber produced in Indonesia was sourced illegally.
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.
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 third meeting of the multistakeholder group set up to support implementation of the EU-Vietnam Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on forest law enforcement, governance and trade took place on 8 March 2018 in Hanoi.
Les participants européens, chinois et africains au séminaire international sur la gestion durable sino-africaine des écosystèmes forestiers ont discuté des synergies entre la finance verte, les engagements de la Chine en Afrique et le Plan d’action pour l’application des réglementations forestières, la gouvernance et les échanges commerciaux (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade - FLEGT).
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).
China and the European Union (EU) are strengthening their efforts to address illegal logging and promote legal timber trade through their Bilateral Coordination Mechanism (BCM) on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance. The 9th meeting of the BCM took place in Beijing, China, on 7 March 2018.