Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are a vehicle for development and generate almost half of jobs in the formal forest sector globally. They are key to local economies, generating significant livelihood and employment opportunities. Yet the recent economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the vulnerability of MSMEs to sudden market developments.
Under its Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union, Indonesia issues export licences attesting to the legality of its timber shipments to non-EU markets. These “V-Legal Documents” build on the same procedures followed in issuing Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licences to the EU market. China does not however currently recognise V-Legal Documents as proof of legality for timber and timber products that it imports from Indonesia.
The EU and Vietnam have ratified a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade, to address illegal logging and promote trade in legal timber products. The Agreement will take effect on 1 June 2019.
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.
Two reports contribute to an undertaking by the European Union (EU) and the Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic (PDR) to initiate joint assessments to provide a baseline for, and inform progress of, their process to negotiate a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on forest law enforcement, governance and trade (FLEGT).
The EU and Guyana have concluded negotiations on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). The agreement will help improve forest governance, address illegal logging and promote trade in verified legal timber products.
Global Witness says Vietnam’s recently-signed Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the European Union can and must prevent the country from ‘becoming a new global timber laundering hub.’ Instead, the Agreement can ensure that Vietnam plays ‘a crucial role’ in protecting the world’s threatened rainforests.