Honduras’s FLEGT VPA has potential to protect forests and biodiversity and ensure the forest rights of indigenous peoples and interests of small businesses and cooperatives. It can also underpin the commercial development and competitiveness of the forest sector, including private plantation businesses. (Photo left: Democracy without Borders)
Further progress on Lao PDR’s timber legality definition was among topics discussed at its third meeting with the EU on development of its EU FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement. Talks were held in Brussels from June 17 to 21 (Photo left: Chris Lang)
Forests need to be ‘front and centre’ of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the European Consensus on Development – and the EU FLEGT initiative can be one key to marrying forest maintenance and wider sustainability policy. That was the view expressed by European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, at the Our forests, our future conference in Brussels late April. (Photo left: Neven Mimica)
The UK and Indonesia have signed an agreement committing the former to continued recognition of FLEGT licences after Brexit. The UK Department for Environment (Defra) confirmed the arrangement on its twitter page on March 29.
The PEFC officially endorsed the Indian Certification Standard for Sustainable Forest on 23 February. No forests have yet been certified under the standard, but Vijai Sharma, Chairman of The Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), maintained that sanction from the PEFC would now lead to ‘Indian forest managers further strengthening their sustainable forest management practices, in line with global standards and multilateral requirements’.
The Guyana Environmental Protection Agency has run further capacity building workshops for community forest operators on legality compliance under its EU FLEGT programme. The latest events focused on the country’s ‘environmental authorisation process’ under its Environmental Protection Act. It attracted 86 operators taking the total number of participants at the EPA’s latest workshop series to 246.
ClientEarth has created an online portal providing links to sources of information on national forestry law worldwide.The environmental law charity says that the Forest Logbook hub is targeted at ‘forest defenders’ and managers, including lawyers, communities NGOs, importers, logging operators and regulators.
SMEs and micro-businesses are notoriously difficult to reach or influence at scale in any industry. Recent research in the timber industry however revealed that even a limited number of industry associations have the potential to reach thousands of micro-businesses. It showed that twenty-five associations in eight African countries represent over 13,000 companies, with 80% defined as micro-sized. A typical micro-business may cover a wide range of activities from small logging companies to skilled production companies, such as joinery and furniture. Many of these usually serve the local market and as such are not exposed to international market drivers.
The key message of the latest VPA JIC meeting in Congo is that solid progress is being made to develop timber legality verification procedures in line with FLEGT requirements.
Ghana demonstrated its Wood Tracking System and other elements of its Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS) to stakeholders from Republic of Congo (RoC) and Laos in a five-day event at the end of November. The multi-country information exchange included two conference days and a three-day field trip to the forest and timber processing companies in the Sefwi-Wiawso forest district in western Ghana.
On 5th October, the European Commission (EC) formally adopted the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) Report 2017, the second biennial report on implementation since the regulation came into law in March 2013.
Certification collaboration and government procurement backing would boost demand for FLEGT licenses
The final session of the IMM Berlin Trade Consultation focused on private sector green procurement and its recognition of FLEGT as well as the Indonesian licensing system and sustainability.
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- Indonesia: “Mini Action Plan” under implementation to address FLEGT-license mismatches
- New portal helps importers perform due diligence on Ghanaian supplies
- PEFC study looks into synergies between Ghana’s FLEGT VPA requirements and PEFC certification
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- Sustainable forest management progresses in Indonesia
- Options for Chinese timber import legality rules
- Ghana Timber Transparency Portal provides insight into forest management
- Final Joint Assessment of Ghana VPA to start in May
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