ITTC 54-European companies more at ease with FLEGT import procedures—survey



Highlights for Wednesday, 7 November 2018-A 2018 survey of companies in Europe on the impact of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) timber legality initiative has found that most companies now consider that FLEGT licensing is making it easier to import timber products from Indonesia.



The survey of 96 companies in key countries in the European Union (EU) was conducted between May and October 2018 by the Independent Market Monitoring (IMM) mechanism. The IMM was established under an EU-funded ITTO project to support the implementation of bilateral voluntary partnership agreements (VPAs) between the EU and timber-supplying countries and to analyze their market impacts. VPAs are a key element of the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, which defines the EU’s policy for promoting legal logging and the trade of legal timber.


To date, Indonesia is the only country to have commenced exports of VPA-licensed timber. In 2017 the country issued 200 000 “V-legal certificates” worth about USD 10.8 billion.


“EU operators have become accustomed to FLEGT-licensed import procedures,” said Sarah Storck, who co-presented a report on the IMM’s work at the 54th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council. “In 2018 compared with 2017, a much higher proportion of surveyed companies reported finding that import procedures were more easily managed and a much lower proportion of companies reported difficulties.”


On the other hand, said Ms Storck, “the survey revealed signs of ‘FLEGT’ fatigue, likely partly due to the lack of FLEGT-licensed timber from countries other than Indonesia”.


“FLEGT licences can underpin market development for tropical products in the EU, but it’s a long-term process”, said Rupert Oliver, Ms Storck’s co-presenter of the IMM report.
“A wider geographic spread—beyond Indonesia—is essential for the market development of FLEGT licences”, concluded Ms Storck.
ITTO provides ongoing support for the IMM with funding from the EU.


Projects declared completed
The Organization’s technical committees reviewed ITTO-funded projects and activities, and several projects were declared completed.


One of these involved the rehabilitation of about 5500 hectares of degraded forest around the Duékoué and Scio gazetted forests in the western part of Côte d’Ivoire. This locality has a large population of internally displaced people and refugees who, along with local people, were assisted by the project to establish taungya agroforestry systems and to enrich and protect natural forests using high-quality seeds of indigenous and exotic tree species.


The project led to the establishment of nine cooperatives (with more than 7000 members) in nine villages for the management of warehouses, the installation of food-processing equipment in those warehouses, and management training for selected members of the cooperatives. According to the completion report presented to the Committee on Reforestation and Forest Management, the project has helped improve the living standards of beneficiaries and the daily lives of women and contributed to food security.


The Committee on Reforestation and Forest Management also received a completion report of a project in Brazil that developed—using participatory processes—five community forest management plans in 19 communities in the Maués Forest. These plans have been submitted to the state government and, to date, two have been licensed. The communities have gained considerable knowledge and skills in sustainable forest management and were moving towards sustainable community forest management and production. Among other things, the project has helped empower women through an ongoing community development process.


The joint session of the Committee on Economics, Statistics and Markets and the Committee on Forest Industry received the completion report of a project in Indonesia that has helped local communities boost incomes by producing and adding value to bamboo products. 


Indonesia has a long history and tradition in the use of bamboo for houses, furniture, handicrafts and musical instruments. Bamboo sequesters carbon, making it an environmentally friendly, renewable material. The aim of the project was to assist local communities in pilot areas to increase, add value to and better manage their bamboo resources. Among other things, the project created a new bamboo treatment facility in East Nusa Tenggara Province aimed at increasing the longevity of bamboo products using a non-chemical, environmentally friendly preservation treatment. The project also developed a model for capacity building in Bali Province that can be replicated elsewhere in Indonesia as part of the government’s “1000 Bamboo Villages” programme, which is designed to support the development of a thriving national bamboo industry.


Netherlands’ agriculture vice-minister wants ITTO to lead
In an address to the Council this afternoon, Ms Marjolijn Sonnema, Vice-Minister for Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in the Netherlands, said her country has been a committed and devoted adherent to ITTO’s mission from its very beginning.


Forests, said Ms Sonnema, have the potential to make a major contribution to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. This represented an opportunity for ITTO, and she urged the Organization to develop a concise, clear and focused strategy.



Go back


African Climate Risks Conference (ACRC) 2019: REPORT

The African Climate Risks Conference (ACRC) 2019 concluded on Wednesday, 9 October, with a busy programme including plenary sessions, panel discussions, workshops, and seminars. In the morning, two plenary sessions focused on the state of climate information services for development support in Africa and on mobilizing investment in climate services. The report is available...

Read more …

FERN- Our Forests Our Lives: Stories of hope and resilience from forest communities around the world

It raises the voices of the Liberian women fighting to own and govern land that’s rightfully theirs, of the Guyanese Indigenous Peoples resisting companies attempting to seize their forests, of the rural Lao communities adapting to profound changes in lifestyles that have endured for generations, and of the Ghanaians finally getting justice from the logging operators in their areas.

Read more …

Greenpeace: Local and indigenous communities should have a right to their lands

International development agencies and our own government need to rethink their development approaches. Too often, instead of development, they end up degrading the environment and worsening social problems. Decisions on land acquisition for “development”, without consulting the indigenous and local communities that will be affected, are leaving them with no access to land, food, clean water and security. The progressive dispossession of indigenous peoples’ lands, underscores the precarious nature of the land rights of indigenous and local communities.

Read more …

greenpeace-International Day of Rural Women: The case of Baka from South Cameroon

In Cameroon, about half of my country is covered by forests. Home to incredible biodiversity, they are also central to the lives and livelihoods of many communities including the Baka. During my visits to the South region in the past three years, I had the opportunity to meet with the Baka people of the area. They’ve lived off the forest and firmly within it for centuries. Baka women in particular depend on the forest: they are food producers, knowledge holders, healers, and the keepers of their culture.

Read more …

World Indigenous Peoples Present Climate Action

“Our rivers and Lakes are drying, our forest burning, our grasses flooding and our children present is under threat with an uncertain future. African indigenous peoples are now more vulnerable than ever because of the changing climate directly impacting our livelihood and survival. We have our grand mother and father with incredible traditional knowledge that can help to the climate adaptation and mitigation but this needs to be ensured by respecting our rights and FPIC” - Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim

Read more …

FGF 2020 Applications Now Open !

We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for our first Forest Governance Forum in Asia. The event is taking place 11-12 February 2020 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Read more …

November 12, 2019 - November 15, 2019 African Landscapes Dialogue Tanzania

Gathering Landscape Leaders from Across Africa for Peer-to-peer Learning and agenda-setting from the grassroots. 27 Sub-Saharan African countries have pledged to restore, or begin the process of restoring, over 96 million hectares of degraded land on the continent by 2030. 40 SSA countries include climate change mitigation from Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry in their (intended) Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for the Paris Climate Accord. 34 NDCs include mitigation contributions from agriculture. Every African nation has signed on to the Sustainable Development Goals. The question now asked regularly: how will our countries keep these commitments?

Read more …

IHC-Securing gorillas in the Congo awarded with Germany’s highest Nature Film Prize

‘Paradise Preserved: Congo – Protecting the Gorilla Forests’, the film which Thomas Weidenbach produced for ARTE, received Germany’s Nature Film Prize on Saturday 5 October 2019. Commissioned by tv-channel ARTE, known to air cultural programmes, the film was broadcast at the end of June.

Read more …

CBFP News Archive


BCC 2020 Save the Date!
Forest Watch October 2019
World Bamboo Day
China goes green again!
GEF Newsletter | June 2019
The Cafi Dialogues
Forest Watch April 2019
Forest Watch March 2019