From ACP-FLEGT to EU FAO FLEGT: Scaling up efforts to improve forest governance
Seminar in Brussels, 25 June 2013
Background and objective
This one-day seminar held in Brussels on the 25 of June 2013 presented the main achievements, results and contributions of the ACP-FLEGT Support Programme to improving forest governance through the perspectives and experiences of ACP-FLEGT projects.
Between 2008 and 2012, the ACP-FLEGT Support Programme supported over 100 pilot initiatives in 33 countries, testing new methodologies and approaches for improving forest governance. By and large, most of these projects boasted successful outcomes which will likely serve as useful lessons for other local stakeholders as they pursue FLEGT-related activities in the years to come.
Despite progress in addressing FLEGT related issues, challenges remain. In light of this, FAO and the European Union are scaling up through the EU FAO FLEGT Programme, a follow-on programme to the ACP-FLEGT Support Programme. The new programme continues to provide support to local stakeholder groups in Africa, but is expanded to support stakeholders in Asia and Latin America to implement the FLEGT Action Plan.
Seminar agenda and presentations
The day started with opening remarks from the ACP Secretariat (Olusola Ojo), the European Commission (Antonio Crespo Moreno) and FAO (Eva Muller).
ACP-FLEGT Support Programme: a contribution to the FLEGT process - Robert Simpson, ACP-FLEGT Programme Manager
As the ACP-FLEGT Support Programme has come to an end, Robert Simpson presented how the Programme has contributed to the FLEGT process. Over 100 projects were funded in 33 countries with EU and FAO funds, including 54 civil society organizations, 41 government institutions and 11 private sector organizations.
Session 1 - Programme’s contributions in non-VPA countries
Beneficiaries of the Programme presented results from support in non-VPA Countries:
Developing a national FLEGT strategy: Uganda’s experience - Martin Asiiwme, WWF
This project highlighted the interaction with Uganda revenue authority in a bid to get them involved in strengthening forest governance and engage in discussions to stop illegal logging. It is estimated that 80% potential revenue from timber, which could be generated through tax, is lost.
Studying Timber flows: Nigeria’s experience - Tom Fameso, Federal Department of Forestry
The Federal Department of Forestry conducted a study on illegal logging activities in Nigeria. As a result of gathering and presenting this information, the government of Nigeria has really embraced the challenges of corruption and levels of illegality in the forest sector.
Controlling trans-border illegal logging: Belize’s experience - Rafael Manzonero, Friends for Conservation and Development
FAO support to the project has been essential for supporting 3 conservation posts in Belize, fostering joint efforts with Guatemala.
Movie projection: Road to Legality
Session 2 - Programme’s contributions in VPA countries
Beneficiaries of the Programme presented results from support in VPA Countries:
Initiative for transparency and combating corruption in the forest sector: Cameroon’s experience - Rodrigue Ngonzo, FODER
In Cameroun, FAO support has brought stakeholders to the table and allowed free and open discussion on forest sector corruption; there is now a significant difference in the quality of talk regarding the challenges.
Including civil society in the VPA process: Ghana’s experience - Alexander Asare, Resource Management Support Centre
Alexander Asare explained how project support has resulted in improved relationship between landowners and stakeholders and stressed the importance of maintaining ownership of the VPA process.
VPA lessons learned: Republic of Congo’s experience - Joachim Kondi, Cellule de Légalité et Traçabilité
Joachim Kondi explained that collaboration between government, private sector and civil society has proven to be essential, but challenges remain and to successfully implement the VPA, support from the new EU FAO FLEGT Programme is needed.
The way forward with EU FAO FLEGT - Robert Simpson, EU FAO FLEGT Programme Manager
The way forward with the EU FAO FLEGT Programme (2012-2016) was presented. The programme supports civil society organizations, government institutions and private sector organizations in Africa, Latin America and Asia with grants and information services. Awareness of the Programme is increased and there is increased demand for assistance.