News

26 April 2016 The FAO Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Programme within the Forestry Policy and Resources Division (FOA) is hiring a Forestry Officer for Latin America to identify, manage and implement initiatives that support increased stakeholder participation in strengthening forest governance and other FLEGT-related actions in countries eligible for the Programme. [more]
Summary report from Forum on Forests and Peacebuilding in Colombia now available in English 8 March 2016 The summary report from the Forum on Forests and Peacebuilding: a post-conflict opportunity which took place in Bogota, Colombia on 20 August 2015, under the leadership of the National Government, the Delegation of the European Union in Colombia and the Regional Environmental Authority Risaralda, CARDER, is now available in Spanish and English. The Forum was supported by both FAO FLEGT and the EU FLEGT Facility, and saw national government agencies, civil society actors and private and international forestry organizations join forces to identify key messages for decision makers and the public on forestry and its role in the local peacebuilding process. The Forum was the first of its kind, opening up space for dialogue on forest issues and the peace process among multiple stakeholders. The key messages include the need to: incorporate forests in the new strategy for integrated rural development; include populations that live in forests in peacebuilding processes; execute forestry norms and regulations that are viable and easily applicably locally; break away from the fixed idea that forests cannot be used; address the challenges of Autonomous Regional Corporations regarding forest management; work collaboratively in forest areas for peacebuilding; and ensure that international cooperation more efficient and robust. The summary document also synthesizes key dialogues and discussions by the various groups who participated. [more]
Supporting community forest management in Peru through “veedores” 1 March 2016 In the San Martin Region of Peru, FAO is supporting the Veeduiría Forestal Comunitaria, technical units of indigenous communities created to serve indigenous peoples’ needs by strengthening their ability to manage forest resources and generate benefits from goods and services that forests provide. To date, a total of 18 indigenous leaders – both men and women – have been designated as veedores or custodians of the forest with corresponding technical functions through the Coordination of Development and Defence for Indigenous San Martin People (CODEPISAM), an indigenous organization made up of eight federations of the Awajun, Kechwas and Shawi peoples. The veedores are being trained by CEDISA, a local NGO, and OSINFOR, the governmental organization that supervises flora and fauna – on issues such as transparent procurement procedures for land use, changes of land and forest use, timber and illegal commerce of forest products, sustainable forest management procedures, governance of related organizations and communities, basic accounting on harvesting permits and verifying information through inventory, forestry censuses and maps. Support for the Veeduria Forestal Comunitaria is being managed by CEDISA through CODEPISAM, with the technical and financial support of the European Union by its Programme FAO FLEGT. The Veeduría Forestal Comunitaria (VFC) will serve as a mechanism of independent observation, a process by which a third party monitors the utilization and assessment of forest resources, rendering indigenous communities key players in governing their forests and contributing to national zero-deforestation targets. View FAO FLEGT Forestry Officer Daphne Hewitt in a television interview about the Veeduría Forestal Comunitaria here: [more]
Colombia: Efforts to improve forest governance gaining momentum 11 February 2016 FAO FLEGT Programme members met this month with delegates from Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS) and the Regional Environmental Authority of Risaralda, CARDER, to assess progress and outcomes of FAO support towards Colombia’s Intersectoral Pact for Legal Timber . The Pact, a voluntary agreement aimed at ensuring that timber harvested, transported, processed, marketed and used derives exclusively from legal sources, is one of the country’s main forest governance initiatives to combat illegal logging. About 72 public and private institutions and civil society organizations signed commitments to reduce illegal forest activity under the current Government. The Pact has also been included in the National Plan of Development of the country (2014-2018) as one of the main tools to reduce deforestation. The FAO FLEGT Programme continues to support work to strengthen the Pact for Legal Timber , including piloting and validating the implementation of the following mechanisms: Responsible Wood Purchasing Guide , which falls under the Sustainable Production and Consumption Policy Framework and seeks to guide Colombians in purchasing legal and sustainable timber; Strengthening tracking and controlling mechanisms by Regional Environmental Authorities with the use of digital android applications such as “cubimaderas” and “especies maderables.”; Recognizing the legal provenance of timber from natural forest and forest industries through the use of protocols for tracking and control of forest products that are harvested, transported, processed and marketed. [more]
Liberia and the EU release 2014 report on VPA progress 28 January 2016 Liberia and the EU have released a joint report on progress in implementing the Voluntary Partnership Agreement in 2014. The report describes progress made with the timber legality assurance system, legislative reform, domestic market, institutional improvements, stakeholder engagement, communication, transparency and monitoring of the agreement. The report is available in English. It will be also published in French and Spanish. [more]
VPAs are 29 May 2015 The environmental NGO FERN has analysed the FLEGT VPA process in five African countries in terms of transparency and discovered a range of encouraging signs. Transparency gains achieved as a part of the VPA process have, according to FERN, contributed to halting forest loss and increased rights of communities and indigenous peoples. [more]
Summary: Forum on Governance, Legality Verification Systems and Competitiveness in the Latin American Forest Sector 2014 released 13 February 2015 This publication seeks to depict the dialogue and discussions by the various interest groups - 140 regional stakeholders, as well as public and private sector representatives from 10 Latin America countries - who took part in the Forum on Governance, Legality Verification Systems and Competitiveness in the Latin American Forest Sector. The Forum was organized to facilitate the exchange of experiences and lessons learned, to inform decision making processes and strengthen legality and sustainable and fair forest development in the region.The meeting was held in Quito - Ecuador from 30 September to 2 October 2014 and was organized by TRAFFIC, the EU FLEGT Facility, the EU FAO FLEGT Programme, the IUCN Regional Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean (ORMACC), the World Resources Institute (WRI), WWF, the IUCN South America office, the Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador and the Sustainable Forest Management Corporation (COMAFORS) of Ecuador. [more]
The Forests of the Congo Basin - State of the Forest 2013 released 20 November 2014 This new edition of State of the Forest represents the collaborative effort of over 150 individuals from diverse institutions and the forestry administrations of Central African countries. The report was made possible thanks to contributions of numerous authors and readers who devoted time and energy to refining it, and financial contributions from the EU FAO FLEGT Programme and others including Norway, the United States of America, Germany, France and Canada. [more]
Latin American forest governance forum set for Quito in September 8 August 2014 A forum on forest governance is scheduled for Quito, Ecuador, from 30 September to 3 October 2014. The forum, titled ‘Governance, Traceability and Control Systems and Competitiveness of the Latin American Forest Sector' aims to facilitate exchange of experiences and lessons learnt for decision-making that enables fair and equitable forest management. The forum is organised by TRAFFIC, EU FLEGT Facility, EU FAO FLEGT Programme, IUCN, and World Resources Institute. [more]
The Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process in Central and West Africa: from theory to practice 30 April 2014 The year 2013 marked the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, so it seemed timely to reflect on the aspects that had worked well over the past ten years – and those that had worked less well – to draw the main lessons. The FAO FLEGT Programme thus started to analyze the experience of the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process. The implementation of the agreements has turned out to be more complicated than anticipated; in turn, a number of challenges must be addressed and major efforts must still be made. Even so, the negotiation and conclusion of VPAs have led to significant progress in terms of improving forest governance. The present study is intended to document and foster strategic reflection in partner countries already engaged in negotiating a VPA – or those who will be entering into such negotiations – by providing examples of “good practices” identified largely with stakeholders from eight countries in Central and West Africa, where the first VPAs were negotiated and signed. [more]
UK joins EU FAO FLEGT Programme as key donor 9 April 2014 UKAid from the Department for International Development (DFID) has recently become a major donor to the EU FAO FLEGT Programme. DFID, recognizing that illegal logging and trade of illegal timber pose serious risk to the integrity of forest landscapes, global climate change and perpetuate negative economic impacts on global markets, agreed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to contribute £ 1,408,833 to FAO’s FLEGT Programme to address the challenge. Support under the MoU will directly contribute to fostering improved implementation of FLEGT/VPA processes, namely by assisting stakeholders to implement selected projects in countries that are currently negotiating or that have entered into VPAs with the European Union. [more]
Colombia steps up awareness raising efforts to improve forest governance 20 March 2014 Colombia stepped up awareness raising efforts to improve forest governance, welcoming the EU FAO FLEGT Programme’s mission to the capital Bogotá on 10-14 February. Representatives from three government ministries – Environment and Sustainable Development; Agriculture and Rural Development; and Trade, Industry and Tourism – participated in the mission led by the EU Delegation, FAO and key stakeholders from civil society, regional public authorities and the private sector to discuss opportunities to bolster national initiatives to strengthen forest governance. [more]
Peru: FAO and the European Union present the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Programme 14 March 2014 FAO and the European Union introduced the FLEGT Programme at the FAO Representation in Peru. The initiative, ultimately aiming to enable Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) by combatting the presence of illegal timber on global markets, was presented to key stakeholders in the forestry sector who discussed the potential of the support available, its applicability in the country and how the work being done locally can be related to similar processes in other countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. [more]
Guatemalan Vice President commits to strengthening forest governance in Southern Petén 11 December 2013 Guatemalan Vice President Roxana Baldetti has committed to coordinating with the Ministry of Defence and Governance for the implementation of a task force to strengthen governance and reduce illegal logging in southern Petén. The announcement was made on 14 November at the inter-sectorial roundtable on southern Petén after Baldetti was presented with the findings from a study of illegal logging in the area, conducted by EU FAO FLEGT implementing partner Association Balaam. At the subsequent inter-sectorial roundtable meeting on the 18 November, the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Guatemala and Head of the Public Ministry agreed to provide support to the Forum for Environmental Justice in the Petén to address illegal logging. Both have committed to developing a mechanism whereby the government will assist local communities inhabiting the Guatemala-Belize transborder ecosystem to address illegal logging. [more]
FAO, ITTO and ATIBT release a White Paper on wood processing in the Congo Basin 28 October 2013 The recently launched White paper “Towards a development strategy for the wood processing industry in the Congo Basin” brings together a series of reflections and suggestions for the development and implementation of strategies to develop the forest industry in the Congo Basin. For the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC), the White Paper could expedite the implementation of previous commitments, including the Convergence Plan. For the private sector, it could serve as a baseline to review where progress needs to be made and sustainability embedded. [more]
African countries agree to curb illegal timber trade in the Congo Basin 23 October 2013 Governments from Africa's main timber producing countries, together with timber industry representatives and civil society organizations agreed to jointly combat illegal timber trade in the Congo Basin, FAO said today following an international wood industry meeting in Brazzaville. [more]
Video: Road to legality 21 October 2013 Through the conclusion of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU, timber producing countries commit to assuring legality of their timber. Cameroon is among the first countries in the process of turning its stated commitment into effective action. FLEGT licenses issued under the VPA will assure consumers that the timber they are buying is legal. [more]
EU FAO FLEGT recruiting a Baseline and impact monitoring expert 21 October 2013 The EU FAO FLEGT Programme is now recruiting a Baseline and impact monitoring expert to develop an impact monitoring system that effectively measures the progress made by the Programme in fulfilling its objective, purpose and expected results. For more information, see the TOR: [more]
The global relevance of the FLEGT process - Interview with Robert Simpson 9 October 2013 Legal tropical timber products have become unequivocal consumer demands the world over. The FLEGT process is largely about meeting this demand by improving the supply of legal timber. The FLEGT process also represents a significant breakthrough in the global battle to protect diminishing forest resources in that it marks an unprecedented collaboration between producing and consuming countries – in this case the European Union – to tackle the illegal timber trade. [more]
Regional Workshop on Capacity Building Needs to Support Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) in Asia 19 September 2013 This workshop, which will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, 16-17 October 2013, provides an opportunity for government, civil society and private sector representatives to learn more about existing and emerging international timber market requirements and the available forest governance support programmes in the region. Participants will be invited to identify key regional FLEGT support and capacity building priorities, in particular in the areas of stakeholder engagement in forest governance improvement processes, compliance to market requirements, especially for SMEs, and the development and local implementation of Timber Legality Assurance Systems (TLAS) . The event is co-organized by the EU FAO FLEGT Programme, the EU FLEGT Facility, RAFT, UK-DFID and GIZ under the auspices of the Thai Royal Forest Department. For more information, please contact: Bruno.Cammaert@fao.org [more]

last updated:  Thursday, December 18, 2014