The head of Tan Hoi village sits cross-legged on the floor describing the pressures his people face. “The older generation lacks education. The younger ones leave school as early as 11. Only one person has ever graduated from university as most people don’t have the resources to be able to afford it,” says Lê Văn Bức, a wiry, softly-spoken man in his 40s.
The Government of Myanmar has committed to improving the country’s timber legality assurance system following the release of a report that analysed the “gaps” in the system in the context of internationally recognised principles, requirements and best practices.
Forest stakeholders in the Philippines have agreed on a ‘FLEGT roadmap’ to improve forest law enforcement, governance and trade through 2020. The plans were finalised at the first meeting of the Technical Working Group on Wood, whose members are from the government, civil society and the private sector.
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.
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.
An INTERPOL report released on International Anti-Corruption Day underlines the scale of criminal activity tied to the forestry sector and the importance of coordinating anti-corruption efforts to protect forests.