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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. 

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.

The IMM interviews Managing Director David Hopkins on the UK Timber Trade Federation's communication and promotion of FLEGT.

The UK Timber Trade Federation is hosting a special conference for the hardwood sector, ‘African Hardwood: Reducing risk, improving supply’. (Photo: Klas Sander, courtesy Danzer)

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)

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. 

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)

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.

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)

A student-designed timber pavilion, Momentto, featuring FLEGT-licensed yellow balau decking from Indonesia, was one of the key installations of the London Festival of Architecture. 

Honduras’s FLEGT VPA has potential to protect forests and biodiversity and  ensure the forest rights of indigenous peoples and interests of small businesses and cooperatives. It can also underpin the commercial development and competitiveness of the forest sector, including private plantation businesses. (Photo left: Democracy without Borders)

Further progress on Lao PDR’s timber legality definition was among topics discussed at its third meeting with the EU on development of its EU FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement. Talks were held in Brussels from June 17 to 21 (Photo left: Chris Lang)