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.
Fern's new report is based on interviews with some of the biggest global producers and users of agricultural products. It finds that consumer-country governments should apply FLEGT-style VPAs to agricultural commodities.
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.
On 18 November, a significant milestone was reached in the fight to protect Vietnam’s forests. The EU and Vietnam agreed ‘in principle’ on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), establishing a legal framework promoting legal logging, ensuring that the nation’s forests are managed in line with social and environmental laws and that timber products from Vietnam are verifiably legal.