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FAO-EU FLEGT Programme

Background

Over its first two phases, the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme provided technical support and resources to more than 200 projects in nearly 40 countries. In 2016, the Programme was extended for a third phase to continue through 2020 with committed contributions from the European Union (EU), UK (DFID), Sweden (SIDA) and FAO. A core part of work in Phase III is to empower small and medium forest enterprises, which employ 140 million people worldwide, to trade only in legal timber and to participate in governance decisions about forest resources. The Programme will also lend more support to larger private sector organizations to help them reduce commodity-driven deforestation in their supply chains, which is an important factor in forest loss, by promoting “good” and legal wood as a key resource in the transition to greener, bio-economies.  

This third phase will continue to channel support to local government institutions, civil society and private sector organizations to implement projects that improve forest governance and promote trade in legal timber products. Phase III targets tropical timber producing countries working towards a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU, as well as other developing, non-VPA countries that are actively involved in FLEGT-related initiatives. 

What is "good" forest governance?

Forest governance is considered “good” or “responsible” when it:

  • adheres to the rule of law
  • is transparent and is free of corruption
  • involves stakeholders in decision-making
  • has equal rights for stakeholders
  • demonstrates accountability
  • has a low regulatory burden 
  • has a coherent set of laws and regulations within the forest sector, and in other sectors that influence forest management
  • properly implements laws
  • is politically stable
  • has demonstrated the capacity to govern efficiently and effectively

An absence of good governance is often at the root of illegal logging.