The European Union (EU) and Laos have held their second round of face-to-face negotiations on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). The talks took place in the Lao capital Vientiane from 4-7 June 2018.
According to an African proverb, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.’ The growing involvement of civil society in managing natural resources in the Central African Republic seems to indicate that the country is prepared to go far.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has released a report detailing unabated illegal logging, timber laundering and smuggling in Cambodia. The report follows earlier EIA reports on Vietnam’s trade in timber illegally harvested in, and illegally imported from, its neighbours. The new report, titled ‘Serial Offender: Vietnam’s continued imports of illegal Cambodian timber,’ finds corrupt officials on both sides complicit.
The third meeting of the multistakeholder group set up to support implementation of the EU-Vietnam Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on forest law enforcement, governance and trade took place on 8 March 2018 in Hanoi.
At the International Workshop on China-Africa Sustainable Forest Ecosystem Management, participants from Europe, China and Africa discussed synergies among green finance, China’s engagement in Africa, and Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).
Indonesia’s Independent Forest Monitoring Network (JPIK) says the country’s timber legality assurance system (SVLK) has led to “significant changes in improving good forest governance” but still has weaknesses and must be continuously improved to ensure its credibility and accountability.
Central African Republic and the EU have released a joint report on progress in implementing the Voluntary Partnership Agreement in 2016. The report describes progress made with the timber legality assurance system, legislative reform, domestic market, institutional improvements, communication, transparency and monitoring of the agreement.
An article published in Front Page Africa describes the progress made by Liberia towards good forest governance since the end of the 14-year civil war, highlighting the ‘gradual rise’ of women’s participation in the forest sector. The writer outlines the benefits of greater participation of women in decision-making processes related to forests.