NGO Fern released a report on the benefits of bringing many tropical forested countries into the European Commission’s FLEGT Act, as the EU is currently developing a review of their flagship forest policy.
The independent review of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, released by the EC today, highlights the scheme’s successes as well as areas ripe for improvement, calling it “fully relevant… innovative, comprehensive and future proof”, while stating that it needs to “address new challenges in particular with regard to deforestation and conversion timber”.
As shown in Fern’s report, all the countries that have signed trade deals - so-called Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) - with the European Union under FLEGT, have shown clear improvements in the way their forests are owned and managed.
“Forest communities in some of the most deprived countries on earth, including Liberia and the Central African Republic, are seeing financial and other benefits from their forests, often for the first time. FLEGT is the most innovative international attempt so far to protect tropical forests and stop illegal logging, and this review should be a catalyst for strengthening it, ” said Lindsay Duffield, a Fern campaign co-ordinator and author of today’s report “Do FLEGT VPAs improve governance?”