The FAO-EU FLEGT Programme is now accepting concept notes from government institutions, civil society, indigenous and tribal peoples, and private sector organizations in countries engaged in Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the European Union. Grants up to USD 110 000 are available through the Programme to support ongoing VPA processes in targeted countries.
Thailand and the European Union (EU) have held their first negotiations towards a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to improve forest governance and promote trade in verified legal timber products.
Twenty-two years ago Global Witness cut its teeth exposing the trade in conflict timber in war-torn Cambodia. Posing as European timber buyers, my colleagues and I exposed how the genocidal Khmer Rouge was selling wood to logging companies just across the border in Thailand.
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.
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.
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.
Earlier this month, ITTO reported that Indonesia is due to issue the first FLEGT licences in November and observed that the Indonesian government and industry are looking to these licences to deliver significant market advantages (ITTO TTM Report 1–15 September 2016).
FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements offer due diligence-free access to the EU market to timber from supplier countries which introduce comprehensive legality assurance systems and forest governance reforms. The EU’s VPA partners now span the globe