When civil society organisations in Indonesia began proposing ways to end illegal logging, they knew they had a mountain to climb. In 2002, some 80 percent of logging there was illegally. Corruption and conflict were widespread. Trust was lacking.
The EU FLEGT Facility has published a briefing based on research into flows of timber and investments between the China and the six countries that have signed Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU.
Mists of uncertainty and misunderstanding have shrouded China's role in African forests in recent years. These are beginning to clear and, thanks to initiatives such as the China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform, the prospects for true China-Africa forest partnerships look more promising than ever.
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.
Earlier this month, ITTO reported that Indonesia is due to issue the first FLEGT licences in November and observed that the Indonesian government and industry are looking to these licences to deliver significant market advantages (ITTO TTM Report 1–15 September 2016).
Latest evidence shows EUTR Competent Authorities increasingly strengthening enforcement capacity EU-wide, creating a more effective barrier to illegal wood and helping prepare the ground for successful impact of FLEGT-licensed timber. Mike Jeffree reports
In this exclusive interview with the ETTF Newsletter, EC Environmental Commissioner Karmenu Vella describes the EU FLEGT Action Plan as making a major contribution to improving forest governance and combatting illegal wood worldwide, not least through the support of the EU timber trade. Indonesia's issue of the first ever FLEGT licences, he says, will be a further key moment in this effort.
The launch of Indonesian FLEGT licensing may not be a ‘magic bullet’ against illegal timber, but deserves recognition as a key step in the right direction, say participants in the initiative. Mike Jeffree reports