Thailand and the European Union (EU) have held their first negotiations towards a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to improve forest governance and promote trade in verified legal timber products.
On 21-23 June 2017, the European Commission met with stakeholders from across the world to discuss future work on tackling deforestation and illegal logging. The meeting, in Brussels, attracted more than 250 representatives from timber producer and consumer countries, private sector and civil society, indigenous and local communities, European Union Member States, and international organisations.
Twenty-two years ago Global Witness cut its teeth exposing the trade in conflict timber in war-torn Cambodia. Posing as European timber buyers, my colleagues and I exposed how the genocidal Khmer Rouge was selling wood to logging companies just across the border in Thailand.
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.