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FLEGT policy news

Congo Republic establishes committee for overseeing rollout of TLAS

The 11th meeting of the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) between the Republic of the Congo and the European Union was held in Brazzaville on 20-21 November 2019. The aide-memoire of the meeting has been made available on the FLEGT VPA website.

Presentations during the technical session (Day 1) included updates on latest and ongoing developments, with a highlight on the country’s Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS). A first demonstration of the system’s online portal (SIVL) and functionalities was made. The SIVL, which currently consists of two initial modules (i.e. taxation; and special logging permits) out of  seventeen ultimately, is to be further interfaced with existing systems at the level of Tax and Customs, the Ministry of Finance & Budget, logging companies, as well as information systems pertaining to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

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Dialogue on differences and synergies of FLEGT and certification 

A conference on “sustainable tropical timber” organised by IDH, the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative as a part of the International Sustainability Week in June opened dialogue on “the differences and synergies of FLEGT and certification”. The discussion was part of a wider event attempting to analyse the development of sustainable tropical timber imports in Europe and discuss lessons learned from the FLEGT VPA process in Ghana. 

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FAO launches public consultation on forest-related legislation

FAO is launching a public online consultation to gather opinions from a broad range of stakeholders on the development of a set of Guiding Legal Elements (GLEs) for forest management, and timber production and trade. These Elements will form the framework for an online FAO database (Timber-Lex) that will catalogue forest-related legislation for timber trading countries.

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Indonesia-UK post Brexit co-operation commitment includes FLEGT

Indonesia and the UK have agreed a raft of areas for bilateral economic, environmental and development cooperation. They include a continued commitment to support and develop Indonesia’s engagement in the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade initiative if and when the UK leaves the EU.(Photo left: Andrew Tilbury of Falcon Panel Products and Indonesian Ambassador Dr Rizal Sukma at the reception of the first FLEGT-licensed wood products in the UK in 2016)

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Broad input urged for Viet Nam timber legality decree

Viet Nam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is calling for input into a new draft decree supporting implementation of its FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement. The decree will include criteria and processes for classification of timber exporters and timber products, and establishing the framework for verifying the source of imported timber. 

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JIC reviews Congo VPA progress

The Republic of the Congo is ‘not far from the end of the tunnel’ on its FLEGT VPA, according to EU Ambassador to the country Raul Mateus Paula. He was talking after the latest meeting of the EU-Congo VPA Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) in Brazzaville on 5-6 June, which was also attended by Congo Forest Economy Minister Rosalie Matondo. (Photo left: Members of the EU-Republic of the Congo JIC. EFI FLEGT Facility)

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Legality and sustainability compliance key for Asian trade bodies

The EU, USA, Japan and Australia are the most demanding markets when it comes to proof of legality and sustainability of timber imports, according to leading Asian suppliers. This was among the findings of a report from the Global Timber Forum based on a survey of timber industry associations in both Asian producing and consumer countries; Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam and Australia.

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African forest legality on air and online

Ghana’s online wood tracking system, and a Liberian radio channel dedicated to forestry issues were key topics in a meeting of representatives of the two countries under an EU Non-State Actors FLEGT VPA initiative (NSA). The NSA project is titled ‘Strengthening capacity of non-state actors to improve FLEGT-VPA and REDD+ processes’. It involves Liberia, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. (Photo left: Community VPA training in Liberia)

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