The FAO-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Programme has released over a quarter of a million dollars to finance stake holder communication on Vietnam’s FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) Timber Legality Assurance System.
The UK and Indonesia have signed an agreement committing the former to continued recognition of FLEGT licences after Brexit. The UK Department for Environment (Defra) confirmed the arrangement on its twitter page on March 29.
The PEFC officially endorsed the Indian Certification Standard for Sustainable Forest on 23 February. No forests have yet been certified under the standard, but Vijai Sharma, Chairman of The Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), maintained that sanction from the PEFC would now lead to ‘Indian forest managers further strengthening their sustainable forest management practices, in line with global standards and multilateral requirements’.
ClientEarth has created an online portal providing links to sources of information on national forestry law worldwide.The environmental law charity says that the Forest Logbook hub is targeted at ‘forest defenders’ and managers, including lawyers, communities NGOs, importers, logging operators and regulators.
Since the early 1990s, private sector actors have been taking steps to ensure that they exclude unsustainable and illegal wood from their supply chains. Private sector procurement policies are now prominent in the global North and among companies with global reach. With time, these purchasing practices are becoming more widely integrated in corporate business practices and contained within a larger sustainability and/or corporate responsibility policy often covering several other aspects.
Contribution from the EU FLEGT Facility: A new website developed by the EU FLEGT Facility provides timber traders, specifiers, architects and retailers with information on business benefits of trading in FLEGT-licensed timber. It also demonstrates social, environmental and economic benefits that such trade brings to producer countries.
Vietnam’s role as a wood processing hub continued to rise during 2017. Vietnam is increasingly recognised as the primary location in South East Asia for supply of mid-range interior furniture and has become a major competitor to China in this sector. Vietnam’s imports of wood products are rising to supply the export-oriented furniture manufacturing sector as well as rising domestic demand.
In the last 2 years, the level of trade between VPA partners and the EU has varied widely depending on the individual country and product. EU imports from Indonesia, currently the only FLEGT licensing country, have remained level at an annual average of €800 million since the start of 2016. This contrasts with imports from the five VPA implementing countries in Africa which declined continuously from an average annual level of €430 million at the start of 2017 to €330 million in March 2018.
A workshop reviewing purchase dynamics for companies sourcing from Indonesia identified “lack of awareness” as the key challenge for FLEGT licensing in the marketplace. The workshop formed part of the IMM Trade Consultation in Nantes and participants came from both French and Indonesian private sectors. It produced interesting insights; however given the limited number of participants the results cannot be considered representative.
Among key factors in the decline in the European market for tropical timber identified by breakout group participants focusing on the topic at the IMM Trade Consultation in Nantes was the 2008 financial crisis, which forced changes in supply in Africa particularly and led to rationalisation of the sector.
The new Fair&Precious promotion programme effectively encapsulates the work of the International Tropical Timber Technical Association (ATIBT), supporting the tropical sector’s technical, environmental and economic performance, into a producer- and market-facing branding campaign.
The final workshop of the IMM Trade Consultation in Antwerp gauged trade views on whether FLEGT could play a more prominent role in EU Member States’ (MS) green public timber procurement. Companies also shared experiences of offering FLEGT-licensed timber for government contracts.
More Articles ...
- FLEGT sustainability credentials and procurement pull-through focus of IMM Trade Consultation
- FLEGT’s profile in promotion and marketing is low relative to certification
- IMM EU furniture study - imports are entering a "crowded and fiercely competitive market"
- Communication and “brand” awareness in focus at IMM’s French Trade Consultation
- Obstacles and opportunity - support for Vietnam's VPA is growing
- Indonesia: “Mini Action Plan” under implementation to address FLEGT-license mismatches
- Giving voice to FLEGT licensing’s wider values
- New portal helps importers perform due diligence on Ghanaian supplies
- PEFC study looks into synergies between Ghana’s FLEGT VPA requirements and PEFC certification
- Ghana feels ready to start FLEGT-licensing – and shares experience with other VPA Partner Countries
- Forests a key focus of international sustainable development agenda
- Awareness raising urged for African VPAs