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.
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.
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.
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.
As the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its member states implement a new ten-year plan to improve forest governance, civil society organisations (CSOs) in region are keen to get involved.
Transitions from war are tough. When grievances smolder and economies fail to recover, most countries fall into a “conflict trap” and war resumes. To escape the trap, post-conflict governments often exploit forests, minerals, and other natural resources to jump-start war-torn economies.
Representatives from eight member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) shared their achievements in developing reliable timber legality assurance systems at a workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia from 6-8 December 2016.
Honduras has moved a step closer towards concluding a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union (EU) after completing a significant milestone in the negotiation process. Known as field testing, this phase enables stakeholders to evaluate progress and make recommendations for the successful completion of the Agreement.
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.