The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is stepping up support for the legal timber trade in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic with the official launch of two new projects that will strengthen the roles of civil society and the private sector in improving forest law enforcement, governance and trade (FLEGT) in the country.
Mechanisms to ensure wood is legally sourced are essential to conserve forests, and can also help small businesses expand exports, thereby increasing income. CIFOR scientist Herry Purnomo discusses the importance of this pioneering certification system for small industry, livelihoods and forests in Indonesia.
It’s a myth that money doesn’t grow on trees — a glance at any timber baron’s bank balance would confirm that. But for people living near tropical forests it has long been clear that when money flows to logging companies, there is little left behind for local development. Now, in Liberia, that is all changing, thanks in part to a trade deal called a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) the country negotiated with the EU.
The major threat to tropical forests today comes not from loggers but from large-scale forest clearance to meet rising demand for agricultural commodities. Recognising this, governments and businesses around the world are increasingly pledging to eradicate deforestation from supply chains of such commodities.
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.
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.
Mists of uncertainty and misunderstanding have shrouded China's role in African forests in recent years. These are beginning to clear and, thanks to initiatives such as the China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform, the prospects for true China-Africa forest partnerships look more promising than ever.
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.