Considerada el gran pulmón de Panamá, la selva del Darién es una importante fuente de recursos para las comunidades de esta región. Sin embargo, en 2010 las estimaciones apuntaban a que el 67% de la madera extraída de este tupido bosque tropical de 20 000 km2 se obtenía de manera ilegal y sin ningún tipo de control. Para solucionar este problema, a inicios de 2018 el Ministerio de Ambiente puso en marcha un sistema de trazabilidad de la madera.
Across Ghana, workers who cut down trees in forests, move timber from the forest to factories or process wood into finished goods can expect these and other improvements in the coming months. That’s because, as Ghana implements new systems for ensuring the legality of its timber and timber products, a spotlight is shining on worker safety like never before.
The Republic of the Congo and the European Union (EU) have taken stock of the implementation of their Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) aimed at promoting good forest governance. Both parties have also agreed on their work for 2019. The VPA is part of the EU initiative on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).
Indonesian civil society groups that act as independent forest monitors have called for action to further improve the credibility and accountability of the country’s timber legality assurance system (SVLK), which Indonesia developed under its Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the EU.
Indonesia has been stepping up action against illegal logging and other forest crimes, with an increase in law enforcement operations and hundreds of court cases in the past three years. However, improving monitoring and law enforcement remains a challenging task.
This month, Indonesia and the EU marked the second anniversary of a major milestone in their partnership against illegal logging — the launch of the world’s first ‘FLEGT’ licensing scheme, guaranteeing the legality of timber products exported to the EU.
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.
The network of Vietnamese Non-governmental Organisations on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VNGO-FLEGT) has welcomed the official signing by Vietnam and the European Union (EU) of their Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).
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.