A new report reveals that many forest operations in Papua New Guinea (PNG) violate the law, despite holding Government permits. PNG is China’s single largest supplier. By buying timber from PNG and exporting to markets that ban illegal timber imports, such as the European Union or the United States, China therefore risks damaging its reputation and major trade relationships.
The European Union (EU) and Laos have held their second round of face-to-face negotiations on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). The talks took place in the Lao capital Vientiane from 4-7 June 2018.
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 Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has released a report detailing unabated illegal logging, timber laundering and smuggling in Cambodia. The report follows earlier EIA reports on Vietnam’s trade in timber illegally harvested in, and illegally imported from, its neighbours. The new report, titled ‘Serial Offender: Vietnam’s continued imports of illegal Cambodian timber,’ finds corrupt officials on both sides complicit.
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).
The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) has released a Briefing Note on developments relevant to the implementation and enforcement of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR). The note, which covers the period from February to March 2018, was developed by UNEP-WCMC as a consultant of the European Commission in close cooperation with the competent authorities of the European Union (EU) Member States.
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.
An article published in Front Page Africa describes the progress made by Liberia towards good forest governance since the end of the 14-year civil war, highlighting the ‘gradual rise’ of women’s participation in the forest sector. The writer outlines the benefits of greater participation of women in decision-making processes related to forests.
In a commentary published by Mongabay, ecologist Dan Nepstad underlines that without support to building strong institutions, ‘it may not be possible to further curb tropical deforestation.’ He writes: ‘governments control the biggest levers for influencing the decision that is made every year by millions of people who live in or work in tropical forests–to cut trees or not.’