On 21-23 June 2017, the European Commission met with stakeholders from across the world to discuss future work on tackling deforestation and illegal logging. The meeting, in Brussels, attracted more than 250 representatives from timber producer and consumer countries, private sector and civil society, indigenous and local communities, European Union Member States, and international organisations.
Guyana is 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 VPA negotiations.
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 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 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.
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.