EU FLEGT Facility
Illegal logging has a devastating impact on some of the world's most important forests. It causes deforestation and forest degradation, harming habitats and biodiversity. It also limits the potential for forests to play a key role in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Illegal logging deprives governments of government revenue, distorts global markets and weakens the rule of law. It harms the livelihoods of local people and can result in conflict.
The European Union (EU) is one of the world’s largest markets for timber products. If EU companies and Governments buy illegal timber, they enrich illegal loggers and undermine efforts to enforce the law in timber-exporting countries. If, on the other hand, they buy timber from producers that comply with national laws, pay for the timber they fell and act responsibly towards local people and the environment, this will help reduce illegal logging.
The Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan is the EU’s response to illegal logging and the associated trade in timber products. It sets out seven measures to prevent the import of illegal timber into the EU, improve the supply of legal timber and increase demand for timber from responsibly-managed forests.
Experience shows that FLEGT processes can incrementally strengthen regulatory frameworks, modernise and formalise forest sectors, improve business practices, build capacities, and increase transparency, accountability and multistakeholder participation in decision making. These are major milestones on the road to sustainable, inclusive economic growth. Such gains underpin many aspects of sustainable development enshrined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The EU FLEGT Facility supports the implementation of the FLEGT Action Plan, with a focus on Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) between the EU and timber-exporting countries. It contributes to efforts to combat illegal logging and strengthen forest governance while encouraging sustainable economic development in such countries.
The Facility’s activities include support: to governments and other stakeholders in countries that are considering, negotiating or implementing a VPA; to EU work on FLEGT initiatives; and to the EU–China Bilateral Coordination Mechanism on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance.
The Facility also assesses linkages and strengthen synergies among initiatives stemming from the FLEGT Action Plan and REDD+, working closely with the EU REDD Facility.
The EU FLEGT Facility is funded by the European Union and the Governments of Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Facility Team Leader: Tim Dawson