In 2012, when I first started researching China’s illegal timber imports, related news or information in Chinese was scarce. Six years on, however, a study co-authored by a Chinese government research institution offers a flicker of hope. China may be heading in the right direction and joining a growing global community who prohibit illegal timber imports by law.
China and the European Union (EU) are strengthening their efforts to address illegal logging and promote legal timber trade through their Bilateral Coordination Mechanism (BCM) on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance. The 9th meeting of the BCM took place in Beijing, China, on 7 March 2018.
An article published in Front Page Africa describes the progress made by Liberia towards good forest governance since the end of the 14-year civil war, highlighting the ‘gradual rise’ of women’s participation in the forest sector. The writer outlines the benefits of greater participation of women in decision-making processes related to forests.
In a commentary published by Mongabay, ecologist Dan Nepstad underlines that without support to building strong institutions, ‘it may not be possible to further curb tropical deforestation.’ He writes: ‘governments control the biggest levers for influencing the decision that is made every year by millions of people who live in or work in tropical forests–to cut trees or not.’
British timber operator Hardwood Dimensions (Holdings) Ltd has been fined for breaching regulations prohibiting the import and sale of illegally harvested timber. Hardwood Dimensions failed to check the legality of a batch of timber from Cameroon when placing it on the market, breaching regulations requiring businesses trading in timber and timber products in the UK to ensure that their products originate from legal sources.
A summary report of the Feasibility Analysis of the Incorporation of Timber Legality Requirements into Chinese Laws or Regulations to Promote Trade in Legal Forest Products was published. The analysis was undertaken jointly by the EU (DG Environment, European Commission) and China (State Forestry administration and Chinese Academy of Forestry), in the context of the EU – China Bilateral Coordination Mechanism (BCM) on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG).
The Central African Republic and the European Union (EU) have reiterated their commitment to make effective the implementation of their Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) aimed at curbing illegal logging. The Financing Agreement signed in 2012 with the EU is about to be implemented and will significantly contribute to this implementation.
The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) has released a briefing note on developments relevant to the implementation and enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). The note, which covers the period November 2017 to January 2018, has been developed by UNEP-WCMC as a consultant of the European Commission in close cooperation with the competent authorities of the European Union Member States implementing the EUTR.
BVRio is organizing the first international timber trade fair dedicated to promoting the trade of 100% legal and certified timber. The Responsible Timber Trade Fair will connect buyers and sellers of legal and certified timber products, focusing on West African timber. The event will be held in Accra, Ghana, 28 February – 2 March 2018.
The UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre has published the latest edition of its periodic briefing note on developments relevant to the implementation and enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).