VPAs and SMEs in Mekong countries – new website and discussion group
The EU FLEGT Facility has launched a web page and online forum focused on small and informal forest products enterprises in the context of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) in the Mekong region.
Countries across the region are engaging in processes to negotiate VPAs with the EU to address illegal logging and promote trade in legal timber products. But little is known about how VPAs could affect small and informal enterprises.
The Facility therefore aims to fill critical information gaps by assessing these sectors in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, paying special attention to potential impacts of VPAs on women. It aims to increase knowledge about small, micro and also informal enterprises (SMEs) and smallholders, and address potential challenges to them operating legally and being economically successful in the context of VPAs.
The Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) is funding the work, which will help national stakeholders identify ways to ensure SMEs and smallholders can more easily participate in the supply chains covered by national timber legality assurance systems.
The new web page explains the background and goals of the work, including its focus on gender. Stakeholders can use the new online forum to share their views and discuss issues among themselves and with the EU FLEGT Facility.