The EU and Indonesia embarked on an ambitious journey to improve forest governance and promote trade in legal timber over a decade ago. This month, the two parties celebrated the third anniversary of a key result in that work, the launch of the world’s first ‘FLEGT’ licensing scheme, guaranteeing the legality of timber products exported from Indonesia to the EU.
On 23 July the European Commission (EC) adopted the Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World's Forests. It’s a new ambitious European approach in response to the continued widespread destruction of the world's forests.
The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) has published its latest briefing note on the implementation of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR), which covers the period March to April 2019.
Our new investigation conclusively shows that tropical timber across the Solomon Islands is being harvested on an unsustainable scale, and that much of the activity driving this environmental destruction is at high risk of being illegal. If the growing degradation of the Solomon Islands’ tropical forests carries on unchecked, it will have a disastrous and irreparable impact on the country’s environment. The loss of this carbon sink would also have a significant impact on climate change.
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.
Nongovernmental organisation Fern says the EU’s new free trade deal with Japan threatens global efforts to tackle illegal logging, including its own action plan. The deal, which was agreed in July 2018 and is in the processing of being ratified, is the world’s largest bilateral trade agreement.
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.