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.
The answer to stemming the flow of migrants from troubled countries is not concrete walls and stricter laws – as British Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump would have us believe. There’s no silver bullet to this complex challenge, but a more promising solution is to help improve the economy and rule of law in the migrants’ home nations.
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.
The EU FLEGT Facility has published a briefing based on research into flows of timber and investments between the China and the six countries that have signed Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU.
After playing a key role in implementing their country’s FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the EU, Indonesian civil society groups are sharing experiences with counterparts in other countries engaged in the initiative.
The Danish Competent Authority last week required seven companies to make improvements to their due diligence systems if they are to sell teak imported from Myanmar on the EU market. The case raises questions about whether it is currently possible to place timber from Myanmar on the EU market while meeting the obligations of the EU Timber Regulation.
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.
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.