Two assessments inform progress on EU-Lao PDR VPA negotiation

Two reports contribute to an undertaking by the European Union (EU) and the Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic (PDR) to initiate joint assessments to provide a baseline for, and inform progress of, their process to negotiate a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on forest law enforcement, governance and trade (FLEGT).

In October 2016, the EU and Lao PDR proposed a joint assessment of the current situation in Lao PDR to provide a baseline to jointly monitor and review progress through to the end of the VPA process. Based on a scoping exercise that identified a number of focal areas, several priority assessments were agreed. The EU FLEGT Facility has released the executive summary of two of these assessments that focuses on two of these priorities. 

The first report reviews the reforms and national initiatives related to FLEGT in Laos PDR. It notes that the FLEGT VPA negotiating process is actively contributing to a dynamic policy environment for forests and forest products. It stresses that the VPA process has the opportunity to inform the numerous reforms that are occurring in several relevant sectors. 

The report identifies key reforms and initiatives with implication for the VPA process where opportunities for synergies already exist or may appear in the future. It also lists key strategies and plans that intersect with the VPA process.

The second report focuses on the review of data on import and export of timber and timber products. It presents findings from a review and comparison of data and information on import and export of timber and timber products in Lao PDR. It characterises the processes that apply to the management and use of such data. The report also contributes to improved understanding of the market context of the VPA, and the importance of reliable and timely information to support decision making. 

The report outlines recommended actions to: improve the quality of customs data; improve the quality and consistency of export data; and mitigate discrepancies between Laos’ data and that of trading partners and global repositories.

 

Documents for download

  • Executive summary of the report on reforms [PDF in English - Lao]
  • Executive summary of the report on import/export data [PDF in English - Lao]