Every year, the National Timber Office of Benin (ONAB) produces around 50 000 cubic metres of logs from 14 000 hectares of state plantations. Local businesses buy the timber, mainly teak, before processing and exporting much of it to international markets.
On 18 November, a significant milestone was reached in the fight to protect Vietnam’s forests. The EU and Vietnam agreed ‘in principle’ on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), establishing a legal framework promoting legal logging, ensuring that the nation’s forests are managed in line with social and environmental laws and that timber products from Vietnam are verifiably legal.
As of today, November 15, Indonesia becomes the first country to issue licences under the EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative. These will exempt timber and wood products from further due diligence under the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and European operator importers are expecting to receive their first licensed cargoes before the end of the year.
Indonesia and the EU launch are hailing “a major milestone” in the global fight to end illegal logging, with the launch today of Indonesia’s FLEGT licensing scheme for exports to the EU of verified legal timber products.
Guyana needs to ensure that the transition from negotiating to implementing its Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU is highly participatory and receives adequate technical, financial and political support.
The Environmental Investigation Agency has published a briefing on how teak exports from Myanmar/Burma to the European Union are in breach of the EU Timber Regulation. The briefing details the results of an EIA investigation into Burmese teak entering the EU market.
Earlier this month, ITTO reported that Indonesia is due to issue the first FLEGT licences in November and observed that the Indonesian government and industry are looking to these licences to deliver significant market advantages (ITTO TTM Report 1–15 September 2016).