Assessing forest governance: A practical guide to data collection, analysis and use, PROFOR and FAO, Washington DC, 2014

  The Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process in Central and West Africa: from theory to practice

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.

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.



Towards a development strategy for the wood processing industry in the Congo Basin

This White paper brings together a series of reflections and suggestions for the development and implementation of strategies to develop the forest industry in the Congo Basin.These were formulated over the course of four workshops organized between September 2010 and June 2011 in Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon.

 Compendium on experiences from the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process in Central and West African countries

This compendium was published as a resource document for a regional conference on “Experiences from the VPA process in Central and West African countries” which took place in Ghana in October 2012. It is highlighting 16 experiences and the resulting lessons which have surfaced, in an aim to foster an exchange of information among stakeholders on how to overcome challenges and move forward with the VPA process and ultimately ensure a legal supply of timber in regional and global markets.

Working papers

Groutel, E. 2013: Evolution of African tropical wood markets - Ethics and pragmatism for a sustainable development of forest resources. EU FAO FLEGT Programme Working Paper 1.

The Congo Basin is at a critical turning point in its history, with demographic growth, the development of megalopolises, the increase in GDP and the emergence of a middle class. This will bring about changes in terms of the consumption, or more precisely the domestic consumption, of forest products. This working paper seeks to present what is already recognized as a trend, the changes now underway and possible future developments.

Groutel, E. 2013: Brazzaville Forum on the future of Congo Basin forests – A model for the creation of shared value. EU FAO FLEGT Programme Working Paper 2.

The Brazzaville Forum, held on 21 and 22 October 2013, brought more than 400 participants together. With the aim of enabling all the players, stakeholders and donors of the sector to really grasp the work and achievements of this forum, this working paper brings together what was done in advance of the event (Concept Note and interviews), summarizes the papers presented, publishes the full-length Brazzaville Declaration and lastly lists a number of concrete lines of action proposed.

Information documents

EU FAO FLEGT Programme brochure

The EU FAO FLEGT Programme provides assistance to three stakeholder groups in eligible countries - government institutions, civil society organizations and private sector organizations. This brochure describes the main components of the support provided by the Programme: support to projects and information and knowledge sharing.


Tackling forest illegality in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific - Successes, challenges and ways forward

This brochure provides concrete examples of the ACP-FLEGT Support Programme’s contribution to implementing FLEGT Action Plan. The Programme supported over 100 projects in 33 countries. As mostly pilot initiatives, these projects test new methodologies and approaches for improving forest governance and tackling forest illegality.


Fact sheet: From ACP FLEGT to EU FAO FLEGT - Scaling up efforts to improve forest governance

This fact sheet presents the main strengths of the ACP-FLEGT Support Programme and how they will be transferred to the scaled up efforts to improve forest governance with EU FAO FLEGT.



Simpson, R. Lemaitre, S. & Muir, G. 2013: Tackling forest illegality through the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan. Nature & Faune. Vol.27, No.2, pp.4-8. FAO.

One of the main tools of the FLEGT Action Plan is the negotiation and conclusion of legally-binding yet Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) between the EU and individual timber-producing countries. VPAs represent an unprecedented, bottom-up and inclusive process, bringing together a wide range of local stakeholders to discuss and decide on pressing issues in forest governance.


Simpson, R. Lemaitre, S. & Whiteman, A. 2012: Implementing an action plan to tackle timber illegality. Unasylva 239, pp.65-71. FAO.

The ACP-FLEGT Support Programme addresses FLEGT-related issues as defined in the EU FLEGT Action Plan to tackle timber illegality. Consistent law enforcement, improved governance and assurances of legality, are part of the foundation that must be laid if forests are to be truly sustainable.


Muir, G. 2012: EU FAO FLEGT Programme - Accepting calls for project proposals to tackle forest illegality. Tigerpaper, Vol.39, No.4, pp.12-13. FAO.

Despite progress of responses to illegal logging, the FLEGT Action Plan continues to face a daunting global trade in illegal timber. In light of the challenges ahead, the EU and FAO are scaling up by embarking the EU FAO FLEGT Programme (2012-2016).

last updated:  Friday, July 17, 2015