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Cross sector hopes for Honduran VPA 

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)

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Forests a key focus of international sustainable development agenda

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)

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PEFC endorses Indian certification standard

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’.

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Guyana EPA runs EU FLEGT legality compliance workshops

 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.

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Impact at scale: GTF shares insights from association capacity-building in Ghana and Cameroon

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.

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Ghana feels ready to start FLEGT-licensing – and shares experience with other VPA Partner Countries

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.

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