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Forest Law and Governance (FLEGT)

Fern works with partners to improve forest governance and strengthen tenure rights of local communities by using the EU FLEGT process, which also aims to control the import of illegal timber in the EU.

Fern’s analysis: Around half of the tropical timber and 20 per cent of timber from boreal forests imported into the EU is illegally sourced. Illegal logging destroys forests and damages communities, but it is hard to tackle because it is often an integral part of a nation’s economy, giving financial support to political parties and companies. Fern believes the challenge is to address the root causes of illegal operations: corruption, unclear tenure situation and the excessive influence of the timber industry.

Fern's monthly newsletter Forest Watch also includes regular updates. Partners in country provide regular updates of the process in their country on the website: To sign-up to Forest Watch, please click here.

To learn more about this campaign:see what is EU FLEGT,, Consultation requirements under FLEGT, and Options for Europe

Most recent publications

Forest Watch FLEGT VPA Update June 2015

A decade of VPAs: where have we been, where do we go? Every six months, Fern produces an update looking at the present situation with regards the EU's Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, with a specific focus on Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs).

vpaUPDATE_final.pdf940.04 KB

Time to Rethink? A Critique of Rural Land Law in Côte d’Ivoire

The objective of this paper is to critique rural land law and forest law in Côte d’Ivoire from an Africa-wide perspective. The paper starts with an overview of customary land tenure across Africa, and different countries’ approaches to achieving legal protection.

Time to rethink.pdf2.23 MB

Seeing the Forests Through the Trees: VPA-led Transparency in Five African Countries

2015 sees the ten-year review of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Action Plan, which makes it a good time to reassess the extent to which VPAs have delivered on their promise of increased transparency in forest management, and for civil society to show how they have used information.

Fighting Fossil Fuels First Making EU climate policy work for people and forests

This study refocuses attention on the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions domestically, without offloading responsibilities onto other countries through offsets.

Fighting Fossil Fuel.pdf2.64 MB

Catching it all: Making EU illegal logging policies work better for people and forests

This report explores how trade in agricultural commodities undermines important EU timber trade reforms. It recommends a course of action that extends Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade-like mechanisms to agricultural commodities, including clearly incorporating conversion timber in new Voluntary Partnership Agreements and developing a broader EU Action Plan on Deforestation and Forest Degadation.

Catching It All.pdf3.2 MB