Subject: EFI EU FLEGT News, July/August 2011
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Bimonthly news on common efforts of the EU and its partner countries and institutions to combat illegal logging and to implement the EU Action Plan for Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT), compiled by EFI in cooperation with the FAO ACP-FLEGT Support Programme and the European Commission.

Open Post - Head of FLEGT and REDD Unit at EFI
FLEGT Voluntary Partnerships Agreements (VPAs) - News from Africa
FLEGT VPAs - News from Asia
FLEGT VPAs - News from Central and South America
FLEGT and Demand-side Initiatives: EU Timber Regulation
FLEGT and cross-cutting issues: Studies – Meeting and Mission Reports
FLEGT Updates: Publications - News picks
Updates from ACP-FLEGT Support Programme

Open Post - Head of FLEGT and REDD Unit at EFI:

EFI is looking for a senior-level professional with strong international leadership and management experience to guide and develop the EU FLEGT Facility and EU REDD Facility hosted at EFI. Visioning and leading the future growth of the two facilities in the context of the increasing importance of forests in the context of the international environmental and climate policy will be the main task of the head of FLEGT-REDD Unit. The full announcement can be found here. Interested candidates are requested to send an application letter and CV by 1 September 2011 to Human Resources Office, EFI, email: Go to for more information about the EU FLEGT and EU REDD Facilities.

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FLEGT Voluntary Partnerships Agreements (VPAs) - News from Africa:


In June the Parliament of Cameroon officially ratified the law which authorizes the President to sign the Voluntary Partnership Agreement which was initialed in May 2010 by Minister Elvis Ngolle Ngolle. Signing the Agreement into law confirms the commitment of Cameroon to implement the VPA. The next institutional steps are the establishment of the Joint Monitoring Committee - a national platform for stakeholder consultation - and the Joint implementation Council, a bilateral mechanism involving the EU and representatives of stakeholders of the forest sector in Cameroon which will supervise the implementation of the VPA.


Central African Republic (CAR)

VPA implementation is progressing according to the detailed work plan, which was developed before the VPA signature and updated in March. The Technical Secretariat (Secretariat technique permanent) in charge of coordinating the development of a national Timber Legality Assurance System will soon be established, together with a national multi-stakeholder committee to oversee the full scope of implementation activities.


Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

A technical videoconference session was held in June, giving representatives of the Congolese technical council and of the EU an opportunity to discuss the first version of the national legality definition submitted by the Congolese, and to update the VPA negotiation roadmap for the coming months. A second technical videoconference session by is scheduled for 28 July, where parties aim to discuss progress with the legality definition.



The third Joint Monitoring and Review Mechanism (JMRM) to facilitate the monitoring and review the implementation of the VPA took place 4-6 July in Accra. The JMRM reviewed e.g. the status of the development of Legality Assurance System (LAS), and progress of legal reforms and policy work to address legality of domestic market and chainsaw activities. Based on an independent review of the pilot Wood Tracking System, the Government of Ghana (GoG) is preparing Terms of Reference for a new contract to develop a national system that meets the VPA expectations. The GoG in consultation with the EU is also in the process of appointing an Independent Monitor to audit the implementation of the LAS. Furthermore, the JMRM is establishing a working group on VPA impact monitoring. It also discussed concerns raised by civil society over administrative issuance of cutting permits. The next JMRM is tentatively scheduled for December 2011.


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FLEGT VPAs - News from Asia:


Indonesia has started implementing the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) it signed with the EU in May this year. Indonesia is targeting to have 11 Harmonised System (HS) Codes (wood product groups) by the end of 2011, with the remaining HS Codes targeted to be in place by the end of 2012. Furthermore, pilot licensing of products to the EU will start in 2012, after which Indonesia aims to achieve full implementation of the VPA in time for the entry into force of the EU Timber Regulation in March 2013.


The Ministry of Forestry hosted a National Public Workshop and Consultation on Indonesia’s Timber Legality Assurance System, known as the SVLK, in Jakarta 5-7 July. The workshop, facilitated by the UK-funded Multi-stakeholder Forestry Programme (MFP) and the Ministry of Forestry, was an open event where stakeholders from across the nation gathered to discuss the Indonesian Timber Legality Assurance System or SVLK. The aim of the workshop was to share on-the-ground lessons from SVLK implementation, discuss the public regional consultations that have just taken place and agree on refinements to the existing SVLK legislation and operating guidelines in line with practical experience and the FLEGT VPA text. In addition, the workshop discussed ways of ensuring that the development of the SVLK can be closely linked to Indonesia’s REDD+ programme and become an effective instrument of good forestry governance.



Several videoconferences have been held for the negotiation of the FLEGT VPA and progress has been made in cleaning up the text and isolating remaining open issues. Malaysia held a stakeholder briefing on the VPA process in Kuala Lumpur on 8 July, at which EFI also presented information on the EU Timber Regulation. A Secretariat for the FLEGT VPA has been established by Malaysia, with the support of Germany.



The latest technical session by videoconference held in June was an opportunity to open the discussion between the EU and Vietnam to representatives of EU Member States including Germany and Finland. Draft reports of three studies on the legality definition, the stakeholder analysis and timber flows were presented during the meeting. The reports will be finalized and shared with stakeholders before a VPA consultation workshop, scheduled for early August. This national workshop aims to inform stakeholders about the VPA process and engage them in a dialogue which will contribute to the design of a national legality definition for timber in Vietnam.


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FLEGT VPAs - News from Central and South America:


A joint EC and EFI team conducted a diagnostic assessment of forestry sector in mid-June, aimed at providing information to stakeholders in Guyana, as the country considers initiating FLEGT VPA negotiations with the EU. The objectives of the assessment were 1) to provide Guyana with specific information on the application and relevance of the country’s current systems of legality and monitoring with respect to FLEGT VPA requirements and 2) to advise Guyana on options for developing their Legality Assurance System (LAS). The outcome of the assessment is expected to advance the national dialogue on the possibility of engagement in VPA negotiations with the EU. Exisiting verification systems on the ground in Guyana provide an excellent starting point for VPA discussions on the Legality Assurance System. It was concluded that the shortcomings that were identified could be addressed during a VPA process, which would provide a platform for the development of systems and structures that would ensure legal timber production, processing and trade.


The EU REDD Facility (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) team also took part in the mission, establishing contacts with key REDD+ stakeholders and assessing the state of play of REDD+ activities in Guyana. The REDD+ process in Guyana is primarily driven by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Norway, and has so far included work on Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) and a REDD+ Governance Development Plan. Under the terms of the MoU, one of the enabling conditions for REDD+ funding from Norway is the initiation of a FLEGT VPA process with the EC.


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FLEGT and Demand-side Initiatives: EU Timber Regulation:

EU Timber Regulation

The final report of the EFI support study for development of non-legislative acts provided for in the EU Timber Regulation was submitted to the European Commission in late June. It has been posted on the DG Environment website. The report focussed on two areas of the EU Timber Regulation (995/2010) for which secondary legislation will be adopted by June 2012: "monitoring organisations" and "due diligence systems".

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FLEGT and cross-cutting issues: Studies – Meeting and Mission Reports:

China Baseline Study: Overview of Forest Governance, Markets and Trade published

As part of EFI’s FLEGT Asia’s information collection role, a number of forest governance, markets and trade baseline studies have been undertaken in the region. The first to be published is a Baseline Study for China.

The main findings of this study include:

  • Imports of forest products at historic high in 2009
  • Shifts in the structure of China’s industry
  • Domestic production in 2008 reached its highest peak in history
  • Exports of forest products decreased by volume, but barely decreased by value
  • Chinese domestic markets are the new target of China’s forest products industry
  • China’s main export markets increasingly require legal verification
  • China depends on imports for more than 50% of its raw material supply, much of it from developing countries with poor forest governance records
  • China’s domestically produced timber is considered generally low-risk

The full version of the report is available in English and in Chinese. Other Baseline Studies will be ready later this year. Please feel free to share this announcement in your networks and the report on your website.


National FLEGT committee created in Thailand:

The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Management in Thailand issued a decree on 7 June 2011 to establish a National FLEGT Committee, which will play the role of Negotiation Committee in future discussion about a Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the EU. The committee comprises representatives from different ministries and the private sector. Its secretariat is in the Royal Forestry Department (RFD). The RFD now plans to build consensus among different government stakeholders before presenting VPA negotiation options for formal endorsement by Thailand's new parliament. FLEGT Asia will support RFD's preparations through studies on timber tracking/timber flows and stakeholder mapping in Thailand.


Meeting on the Mapping of Stakeholder Consultation Processes in Malaysia

FLEGT Asia is starting a study on stakeholder engagement in the Malaysian forestry sector from 2000 onwards. For this purpose, FLEGT Asia organised a briefing on June 15 with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) of Malaysia to prepare for the study. The main aim is to compile an overview of the extensive practise of stakeholder consultations which remains largely unseen and unnoticed. The meeting gathered feedback from participants on how to implement the study. The work will start in August and is aimed to be ready by November 2011.


Sustainable Forest Management event in Shanghai, China

The fourth Forests, Markets, Policy and Practice conference took place in Shanghai on the 22-23 June. The event is the result of an extensive collaboration between the International Forestry Cooperation Center (IFCC) and the Center for International Forest Products Trade (CINFT) of the Chinese State Forestry Administration, the USAID-funded Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade (RAFT) Program, the EU-supported FLEGT Asia Program, the Rainforest Alliance, the Chinese Academy of Forestry, The Nature Conservancy, WWF GFTN and The Forest Trust. The presentations covered a wide range of topics and viewpoints. The full list of speakers and their presentations is available online. Ms. Heidi Hiltunen from EU Delegation to China spoke on the EU Timber Regulation and its implications for China. Professor Zeng Yinchu from the School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development of the Renmin University of China spoke on Potential Responses of Chinese Industry SMEs to New EU Legislative Market Requirements. Mr. Ed Pepke, Senior Analyst for the European Forest Institute’s EU FLEGT Facility gave a presentation about Global forest products market trends, looking into global market drivers and global trade trends. More information about the conference can be found here.


VII Congress on Central American Forests, Nicaragua

An EFI representative made a presentation on FLEGT at the VII Congress on Central American Forests on 30 June in Managua, Nicaragua. The main objective of the Congress was to highlight the strategic importance of forest ecosystems for the conservation of biodiversity and the socioeconomic and cultural development of Central America.


Malaysian Forest Dialogue in Kuala Lumpur

The multistakeholder Malaysian Forest Dialogue (MFD) was held in Kuala Lumpur on 6-7 July. Representatives from various industries such as palm oil, food, chemicals, pulp and paper and packaging, as well as a timber products retailer and overseas timber industries associations shared their experiences in developing and implementing Codes of Conduct. The aim of the dialogue was to provide insights for the development of a Code of Conduct for the timber industry. The output will be a summary report to be provided to the Minister of Plantation Industries & Commodities for consideration.


Conference on Forest Tenure, Governance and Enterprise in Lombok, Indonesia

An international conference on Forest Tenure, Governance and Enterprise took place on 11-15 July on the island of Lombok, Indonesia. The conference explored experiences and opportunities for Asia in a changing context and was co-organised by The Rights and Resources Initiative, the Ministry of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). The week-long event gave rise to an in-depth assessment of the relationship between forest tenure, sustainable forest management and income-generating enterprises and promoteed action across a range of Asian countries. FLEGT Asia supported the conference and provided key input to the conference in the form of a discussion paper.


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FLEGT-REDD Linkages:

REDD+ Project meeting in Brussels 5-6 July 2011

The European Commission organised a first coordination meeting on REDD+ in Brussels on 5-6 July. This meeting brought together organisations and stakeholders that are implementing REDD+ projects financed under the ENRTP, as well as EU delegations, international civil society organisations and key experts. The meeting aimed at sharing experience and promoting debate to inform policy development. Participant called for more opportunities to learn and share experience in the REDD+ landscape. The European Commission intends to organise these meetings annually.

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FLEGT Updates: Publications - News picks:


Tropenbos International has published a guide to the major initiatives that promote the legal production and trade of timber, Enhancing the trade of legally produced timber. The publication can be downloaded from their website.


The EU Timber Regulation and a set of Frequently Asked Questions on Illegal Logging and the VPA, covering the new legislation, published by the European Commission, have been translated into Japanese. The documents can be found here: the Regulation and the FAQ


News picks:

The Ukranian Kyiv Post drew attention to the implications of the EU Timber Regulation for Ukrainian timber exporters in “EU seeks to protect forests with curb on illegal logging”, where it notes that Ukraine could be shut out of the $49 billion European Union wood market if they don’t comply with restrictions designed to curb illegal logging.


A winning court case against a logging company in PNG was reported in several media, e.g. Logging company fined $100 million for illegal logging in Papua New Guinea and Big win against illegal logging in PNG


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Updates from ACP-FLEGT Support Programme:

4th call for proposals:FAOsmalllogo1.jpg : 4.40625Kb

The FAO ACP-FLEGT Support Programme successfully closed the fourth call for proposals on 20 May 2011. The programme provides support to African, Caribbean and Pacific island countries to implement the EU FLEGT Action Plan. Over 200 proposals were submitted during the last call; 178 from African, 11 from Caribbean and 2 from Pacific island countries. Since inception in November 2008, the programme has received over 500 proposals and funded over 64 projects in the ACP. This call will likely support at least an additional 20 initiatives to support FLEGT activities. Final decisions on funding will be completed on 26 July 2011.


FAO-IFIA-ITTO workshop in Gabon

The ACP-FLEGT Support Programme participated in the workshop entitled “Vers une stratégie de développement de l’industrie de transformation du bois au Bassin de Congo : Enjeux, défis et perspectives pour le Gabon, Libreville 15-16 juin 2011.” The workshop was organized in partnership with FAO, IFIA and ITTO to share ideas and experiences on creating a favorable environment for investments and promoting formal national and regional wood markets. Similar workshops were held in Cameroon, Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo. The findings from all workshops will be share during future events.


Signing ceremony in Ghana and Kenya

The programme celebrated the signing of two new projects in Kenya during a ceremony held on 24 May 2011. The East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) and Help Self Help Centre (HSHC) projects were endorsed for funding during the third call for proposals through the ACP FLEGT programme. The EAWLS received USD 122,238 to develop a system for monitoring and tracking illegal timber trade across the border sites between Kenya and Tanzania while the HSHC will target capacity building for community forest associations in the Chehe and Ragati forest blocks. In Ghana, a second signing ceremony was organized on 11 July 2011 to celebrate the start up of two projects, the first through the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana to strengthen the capacities of local communities to halt illegal logging and the second through the WWF West Africa Forest Programme to facilitate compliance with the Illegal Timber Regulation in Sierra Leone, Ghana and Liberia through the development of a West Africa Timber Traders Guide. In total, the ACP FLEGT programme supports five projects in Ghana that contribute to the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement.


Burkina Faso

The ACP-FLEGT Support Programme has recently started support to the first project funded in Burkina Faso through the Association Nong Taaba pour le Développement (ANTD). The main objective of the project is to improve local knowledge of national environmental legislation and strengthen their enforcement capacity. This project has received support from all local stakeholders during the inception workshop presided by the Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development. It was attended by the FAO Representative in Burkina Faso, government Representatives, several members of Parliament and members of local communities.


Please go to the FAO ACP FLEGT Support Programme website for more information about the news item and the programme.




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If you would like to submit information on EU FLEGT related activities or editorial comments please send them to info(at)

The EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) process was initiated in 2003 with the publication of the EU FLEGT Action Plan. It addresses governance reforms and capacity building, supported by actions aimed at reducing the consumption of illegally harvested timber in the EU and ultimately major consumer markets elsewhere in the world. Further related documents: Council Conclusions (2003), Council Regulation on FLEGT licensing scheme (2005)

The European Forest Institute's(EFI) EU FLEGT Facility supports the implementation of the EU FLEGT Action Plan and is funded by the European Union, and the Governments of Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. The Facility currently conducts activities in Africa, Asia and Central and South America.

This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union

Further information: and