IMM gathers feedback on FLEGT licensing

On 8 March 2018, the Independent Market Monitoring (IMM) organised the first Trade Consultation in London, United Kingdom (UK). The Consultation aimed to inform participants about the latest Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) developments, and to provide an opportunity for them to voice opinions about FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) processes.

The event brought together 45 participants representing timber importers and distributors, furniture suppliers, major retailers, and officers of timber, woodworking and furniture trade associations. Representatives of the UK Government, the Indonesian embassy and the Ghana Forestry Commission also participated.

The event started with a tour of the UK Timber Trade Federation’s Timber Transformer public exhibition, which explained the process behind the EU FLEGT Action Plan in Indonesia, the first country to start FLEGT licensing its timber exports to the EU. It drew attention to ‘what lies behind a FLEGT licence’ in terms of improved forest governance, stakeholder engagement and industry transparency.

The tour was followed by several presentations, including a trade analysis of the EU market for tropical timber products, the status of forest certification in Indonesia and the enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation in the UK.  
Representatives of large retail companies, furniture importers, agents and furniture associations discussed trends in EU tropical timber trade, as well as the sustainability credentials and marketing potential of FLEGT-licensed timber. They also addressed the role of FLEGT in public procurement. 

The links to the presentations and outcomes of the discussions are provided below. 

The next Trade Consultation will take place in Nantes, France, on 31 May 2018.