Tag Archive for: timber legality

La Unión Europea y Honduras acuerdan combatir la tala ilegal y promover el comercio de madera legal

Honduras y la Unión Europea (UE) firman un acuerdo sobre la aplicación de leyes, gobernanza y comercio forestales. El acuerdo garantizará que toda la madera y productos derivados hondureños importados a la UE tengan un origen legal y dispongan de autorización.

Jutta Urpilainen (UE) y Roberto Ochoa Madrid (Honduras) firmando el AVA. Fuente: Comisión Europea

El acuerdo voluntario de asociación (AVA) fue firmado el 23 de febrero por el embajador de Portugal, Nuno Brito, la comisaria europea de Asociaciones Internacionales, Jutta Urpilainen, y el embajador de Honduras, Roberto Ochoa Madrid. Entrará en vigor cuando ambas partes lo hayan ratificado de acuerdo con sus procedimientos internos.

Honduras es el primer país latinoamericano en firmar un acuerdo voluntario de asociación con la UE en el marco del Plan de Acción para la Aplicación de Leyes, Gobernanza y Comercio Forestales (FLEGT, por sus siglas en inglés).

Según establece el acuerdo, Honduras pondrá en marcha mecanismos sólidos para garantizar que la madera producida en el país se obtenga legalmente. De este modo, se creará un sistema de seguimiento de la legalidad que permita evaluar la producción de madera en Honduras con criterios similares a los establecidos en el Reglamento de la madera de la UE.

Este proceso favorece las metas comerciales y de desarrollo sostenible de la UE y contribuirá al objetivo más amplio de reducir la tala ilegal.

Author: FLEGT.org Info

EU and Honduras agree deal to combat illegal logging, promote trade in legal timber

Honduras and the European Union (EU) have reached an agreement on forest law enforcement, governance and trade in timber products. The agreement will ensure that all Honduran timber and timber products imported in the EU are legally sourced and licensed.

Authorities from the European Commission (left) and Honduras (right) signing the Honduras-EU VPA. Source: European Commission

The Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) was signed on 23 February by the Portuguese Ambassador Nuno Brito, European Commissioner for international partnerships Jutta Urpilainen and the Ambassador of Honduras Roberto Ochoa Madrid. It will enter into force after each Party has ratified it in line with their internal procedures.

Honduras is the first Latin American country to sign a voluntary partnership agreement with the EU under the Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).

As per the agreement, Honduras will develop robust mechanisms to ensure locally produced timber is legally obtained. A timber legality assurance system will be set up to assess Honduran timber logging with requirements similar to the ones set in the EU Timber Regulation.

This process enhances the EU’s sustainable development and trade goals and will contribute to the broader objective of reducing illegal logging.

Author: FLEGT.org Info

Trees give small farmers in Thailand access to loans

The EU FLEGT Facility has published a story describing how farmers in Thailand are starting to reap the benefits from international timber trade talks between Thailand and the European Union.

Mongkol Wandee measures a tree. Source: Somporn Khongthanakrittakorn, EU FLEGT Facility

Until recently, forest laws put limitations on farmers around the harvesting and transportation of certain tree species. Organisations such as the Private Forest Plantation Cooperative Limited – a cooperative of tree growing farmers and private land owners – used the trade talks to push for amendments to forest laws to improve the situation for farmers. 

In 2019, the Thai Government changed regulations regarding the use of trees on private land. Farmers can now legally harvest all trees on their land and get additional income from them without burdensome paperwork and/or field inspections.

Read the story on how this is impacting one farmer and his family in Thailand.

Author: EU FLEGT Facility

Evidence of VPA impacts: findings from Cameroon, Ghana and Indonesia

A study conducted in Cameroon, Ghana and Indonesia, three countries at different stages of implementation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs), signed within the framework of the EU’s Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade, showed that the VPA process contributed to significant improvements in various dimensions assessed.

Source: Ollivier Girard/CIFOR

Supported by the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) conducted a study to gather evidence of the contribution of the VPA FLEGT process to four thematic areas:

  1. Sustainable forest management and forest conditions;
  2. Relation and development of the formal and informal forest sector;
  3. Jobs and employment;
  4. Governance, law enforcement and compliance.

Overall, the findings showed progress on many VPA-related targets, and that for most of the observed changes, VPA contribution is generally positive.

The most significant reported contributions of the VPA were found in the areas of Sustainable forest management and forest conditions, and Governance, law enforcement and compliance.

The full article with further details is available on the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme website

Other links

Author: EU FLEGT Facility

Recognising Indonesian V-legal documents in China: Exploring the options

Under its Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union, Indonesia issues export licences attesting to the legality of its timber shipments to non-EU markets. These “V-Legal Documents” build on the same procedures followed in issuing Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licences to the EU market. China does not however currently recognise V-Legal Documents as proof of legality for timber and timber products that it imports from Indonesia.

Furniture products are packed in warehouses ready for export to the foreign market. Source: Murdani Usman, CIFOR

Yet according to new research by the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF), doing so could pose opportunities for China and Chinese companies, along with some challenges.

CAF’s Research Institute of Forestry Policy and Information explored the recognition of Indonesian V-Legal Documents in China in a study undertaken between 2018 and 2019. The research is part of the work of the Bilateral Coordination Mechanism (BCM) on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance, which frames the collaboration between the EU and China on combating illegal logging and associated trade globally. The study built on a series of workshops facilitated by the EU FLEGT Facility in China.

Benefits identified by the research include simplifying due diligence for Chinese companies that exercise it, and promoting legal trade between China and Indonesia, and between China and international markets. It would also set a precedent supporting FLEGT. 

The study was conducted before China amended its Forest Law in 2020, prohibiting the purchase, transport and processing of illegal wood.

Next steps recommended by the study are a pilot project to explore how Chinese companies could integrate V-Legal Documents into their due diligence system; facilitating cooperation between Chinese and Indonesian industry associations; strengthening cooperation between the Chinese and Indonesian Governments in implementing their MoU on combatting illegal forest products trade; and raising Chinese company awareness of V-Legal Documents.

Author: EU FLEGT Facility

Evaluation of EU rules on illegal logging: public feedback opportunity

The European Commission has invited public feedback on EU action to tackle illegal logging – the harvesting of wood in contravention of the laws and regulations.

The public consultation on FLEGT and the EUTR is open until 28 February. Source: Robertus Pudyanto, EU FLEGT Facility

The EU has two key legal acts to fight illegal logging:

  • Forest law enforcement, governance and trade regulation (FLEGT) and
  • the EU timber regulation (EUTR).

This “fitness check” will according to the Commission examine the “effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and EU added value of both regulations in contributing to the fight against illegal logging globally. It will also include the implementing regulations of both instruments as well as the delegated regulation on Monitoring Organisations and will cover all Member States and relevant third countries.”

The evaluation will help assess whether the instruments are fit for purpose or need to be revised. It will also address the coherence between the regulations and “provide a very valuable input for the assessment of potential additional demand side measures.”

The review will cover the whole period since the instruments entered into force, with the focus on the implementation during the last three years, “given that in 2016 evaluations of the EUTR and of the FLEGT Action Plan were published. Furthermore, the FLEGT licensing scheme became operational in 2016.” 

The evaluation findings “will be considered in the assessment of demand-side measures for other commodities associated with deforestation.”

Opportunity for feedback is open until 28 February

Author: EU FLEGT Facility

Strong law enforcement drives responsible timber businesses in Ghana

The EU FLEGT Facility has published a story reporting how law enforcement and continuous checks on operators are transforming business practices in Ghana’s timber sector. Companies are making noticeable improvements, in particular in relation to environmental and social obligations.

The Ghana VPA has enhanced enforcement of health and safety requirements in forestry operations. Source: EU FLEGT Facility

Strengthened law enforcement is part of an ongoing effort in Ghana to improve the governance of the forest sector, and safeguard the long-term survival of the country’s forests. Law enforcement, as well as demands for better health and safety conditions by employees becoming more aware of their rights, and are yielding impressive results. 

Read the story: Strong law enforcement drives responsible timber businesses in Ghana

Author: EU FLEGT Facility