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.
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.
In 2012, when I first started researching China’s illegal timber imports, related news or information in Chinese was scarce. Six years on, however, a study co-authored by a Chinese government research institution offers a flicker of hope. China may be heading in the right direction and joining a growing global community who prohibit illegal timber imports by law.
On 8 March 2018, the Independent Market Monitoring (IMM) organised the first Trade Consultation in London, United Kingdom (UK). The Consultation aimed to inform participants about the latest Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) developments, and to provide an opportunity for them to voice opinions about FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) processes.
A summary report of the Feasibility Analysis of the Incorporation of Timber Legality Requirements into Chinese Laws or Regulations to Promote Trade in Legal Forest Products was published. The analysis was undertaken jointly by the EU (DG Environment, European Commission) and China (State Forestry administration and Chinese Academy of Forestry), in the context of the EU – China Bilateral Coordination Mechanism (BCM) on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG).
Indonesia was not the only one to celebrate its FLEGT licensing launch last year. Other tropical timber exporters engaged in the FLEGT VPA process en route to licensing welcomed the news too. They see Indonesia’s success not just as inspirational, but providing lessons from which they can learn. Mike Jeffree reports
FLEGT VPAs are not just about delivering legal timber to the EU, but ensuring greater stakeholder participation in timber sector decision-making in supplier countries to the benefit of ordinary people. Mike Jeffree reports on progress in Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Liberia and Vietnam.
More than 100 customs, forestry, and anti-corruption officials and civil society representatives from countries in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum met in Vietnam from 18-19 August 2017 to share best practices for identifying illegal timber and wood products.