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’.
FLEGT policy news
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.
Guyana has become only the second Central/South American country to complete its FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement, following the initialling by Honduras of its VPA earlier this year.
The signature by the EU and Vietnam of the latter’s FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement is scheduled for later this year, with ratification in 2019. They are being heralded as critical staging posts, and important moments both practically and psychologically, in the country’s progress towards full VPA implementation and its start of FLEGT licensing of timber and wood product exports to the EU.
The FLEGT licensed information point is expanding its information for timber buyers. Recent IMM trade consultations revealed that the trade advantages of FLEGT licensed timber are relatively well-known. However, the private sector is keen to learn more about, and articulate to their clients, the social, economic and environmental benefits of FLEGT licensed timber.
The Joint Implementation Committee for the Indonesian VPA met on 1 March 2018 in Jakarta to review experience with the first 15 months of licensing. According to information from the Indonesian SILK database and the Licensing Information Unit (LIU), more than 39,000 FLEGT licenses were issued during 2017. This means that FLEGT-licenses accounted for 18.2% of all V-Legal documents – paperwork accompanying Indonesian exports globally and guaranteeing timber legality – issued during that period.
More Articles ...
- New portal helps importers perform due diligence on Ghanaian supplies
- PEFC study looks into synergies between Ghana’s FLEGT VPA requirements and PEFC certification
- Awareness raising urged for African VPAs
- 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
- “Ghana demonstrated an impressive technical capacity”, says shipment test report
- UK Timber Trade Federation pushes the profile of FLEGT licensing
- FLEGT-licensed timber and EU public procurement
- EUTR and EU FLEGT stay in UK law post-Brexit
- Should EUTR broaden scope – yes or no?