The European Union and Laos held their first negotiations towards a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to improve forest governance, address illegal logging and promote trade in legal timber products, when they met on 24-28 April in Vientiane.
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.
Fern's new report is based on interviews with some of the biggest global producers and users of agricultural products. It finds that consumer-country governments should apply FLEGT-style VPAs to agricultural commodities.
By highlighting the decade of successes already achieved during the negotiation and implementation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements to end illegal logging, civil society from timber producing countries explain where EU policy should go next.
As the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its member states implement a new ten-year plan to improve forest governance, civil society organisations (CSOs) in region are keen to get involved.
Global businesses are increasingly pledging to obtain key commodities only from sources that do not contribute to deforestation. Now, nonprofit groups are deploying data tools that help hold these companies to their promises by tracing the origins of everything from soy to timber to beef.
The EU FLEGT and EU REDD facilities have released a briefing exploring how VPAs, REDD+ and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) initiatives offer opportunities for the forest and land-use sectors to contribute to achieving national climate change objectives and improving forest governance.