FLEGT and Cross-Cutting Issues: Meeting Reports:
FLEGT practitioners unpack VPAs during FLEGT Week
The European Commission organized the seventh Annual FLEGT Coordination Meeting, or FLEGT Week, on 23-27 April in Brussels, where FLEGT practitioners and forest governance experts joined staff of EU Delegations, private sector representatives and civil society groups to discuss progress on implementation of the FLEGT Action Plan, in particular in the countries where VPAs are in implementation or under negotiation. Please click here for more about the week’s events.
During the first two days, staff from EU delegations and EU Member State development agencies participating in a training event entitled “FLEGT: From Theory to Practice”. Staff of the European Commission and EU FLEGT Facility resource persons provided detailed information to colleagues on the FLEGT initiative and in particular on FLEGT VPA negotiation process, VPA implementation and the EU Timber Regulation.
The second half of the week provided an opportunity for almost 100 representatives from FLEGT-related projects and programmes from all over the world to be updated on recent developments and to share experiences and network. With so many projects on the ground, the Commission put together a useful interactive map of FLEGT projects. Browse the map here.
Technical workshop on China’s Timber Legality
A Technical Workshop on China’s Timber Legality was held on 23-24 May in Beijing, China. The workshop was co-organized by the Centre for International Forest Products Trade of China’s State Forestry Administration (CINFT of SFA), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), EFI’s FLEGT Asia regional funding and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The workshop gave participants a more systematic and deeper understanding of the timber legality requirements of major export markets and the effects these requirements have on Chinese companies who take steps to comply. Around 40 participants from Governments, NGOs, International Organisations, Forest Businesses and Research Institutions attended. EFI delivered a speech on “Elements, process, progress and challenges of FLEGT/VPA”.
3rd Sub-regional TLAS workshop to be held in early 2013 in collaboration with ASEAN
During the 11th Meeting of the Working Group on a Pan-ASEAN Timber Certification Initiative held on 22-23 May in Luang Prabang, Laos, EFI’s FLEGT Asia regional funding was mandated to conduct the 3rd Sub-regional TLAS workshop in early 2013 in collaboration with ASEAN Secretariat. This follows two earlier workshops held in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2010 and Sabah, Malaysia in 2011. In addition, EFI was mandated to initiate a study looking into cooperation on customs between the different ASEAN Member States.
ITTO workshop on Timber Tracking Technologies
A workshop on timber tracking technologies was organized by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) with collaboration and co-funding from the Government of Japan, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), the Worldbank/Profor and EFI’s FLEGT Asia regional funding. The workshop took place on 15-17 May in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was attended by more than 70 people.
The objectives of the workshop were to share experiences in the application of timber tracking technologies for forest governance. The participants discussed how timber tracking could be of help in tackling illegal logging and trade in illegal timber, and how the technologies could be used by those hoping to comply with the requirements of instruments such as FLEGT and CITES. An agenda and review of the workshop can be found here.
Multistakeholder Consultation held in Malaysia
Special VPA Stakeholder consultations/briefings in Malaysia started in 2007, and between March and May this year three National-level stakeholder consultations were organized by the Malaysian government. On 26 April the 7th Multistakeholder Consultation was held in Kuala Lumpur. EFI’s FLEGT Asia regional funding supported the participation of a number of Malaysian stakeholders from civil society.
International Timber Tracking Technology Workshop held in Kuala Lumpur
Bioversity International organised an inception workshop for its’ Timber Tracking Technology Project (Identification of Tree Species & Geographic Origin) in Kuala Lumpur on 24-25 April. The project, which runs from November 2010 to December 2014, will facilitate the practical application of innovative timber tracking tools based on DNA and stable isotope markers. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection.
The Project aims to set up a coordination and networking facility among scientists, experts and institutions working on species identification, as well as to:
- Develop accepted guidelines for genetic and stable isotope fingerprinting
- Elaborate on accreditation systems for private and public labs willing to work in the field
- Determine a list of priority timber species
- Develop an online database with geo-referenced data on genetic structure and stable isotopes f selected timber species and a data sharing agreement.
The ultimate objective is to create a Global Timber Tracking Network (GTTN), which will be a global online database featuring genetic and stable isotope markers for commonly-traded timber species. This tool would complement existing mechanisms for timber tracking. The GTTN database will allow importers to verify the precise species and geographic origin of timber and timber products.
International Conference on Forestry and the Green Economy held in Beijing
The conference, held on 19-20 April, was organized by the International Forestry Cooperation Center of State Forestry Administration (SFA), China, Forestry Economics and the Development Research Center of SFA and the World Forestry Economics Commission, the China Society of Forestry Economics and co-sponsored by a number of international organisations.
Around 160 participants from Governments, NGOs, International Organisations and Universities of fourteen countries attended the conference. The different speakers gave their views on Forestry and the Green Economy and shared lessons drawn from field cases around the world. Mr. Arnaud Brizay from the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section delivered a speech on “The European Forest Sector in a Green Economy” and Dr. Promode Kant, the Director of Institute of Green Economy, New Delhi, India, on “The Practice of Green Economy in India”.
Japanese Trade Developments Seminar
On 23 March the “New International Developments in the Trade in Legal Timber” Seminar was organized by the EU Delegation to Japan and the EU – Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation in Tokyo. EFI’s FLEGT Asia regional funding helped in organising the event. The seminar gave an overview of the latest policy developments relating to the trade in legal timber and facilitated a discussion between the world’s key markets for forest products. EFI presence in Tokyo was also used to brief a number of individual Members of Parliament, civil society, consumer organisations and industry representatives interested in the FLEGT initiative. Together with the EU, subsequent briefings on FLEGT were organized with the Forestry Agency and the Ministry of the Environment.
Workshop on Strategic Planning for Southeast Asian Forestry
ASEAN and the FAO organized a strategic planning workshop for Southeast Asian Forestry in Chiang Mai, Thailand on 21-23 March. EFI’s FLEGT Asia regional funding contributed a presentation on ‘Changing markets and in-country requirements due to FLEGT, the US Lacey Act and public procurement policies’. The main outcomes of the workshop focused on four thematic priorities, most closely linked to the FLEGT initiative:
- Planning responsible investments in forest areas
- Civil society participation in forestry
- Legal forest products trade
- Regional cooperation on international agreements affecting forestry
The full workshop report can be found here.