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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: www.loggingoff.info. To sign-up to Forest Watch, please click here.

To learn more about FLEGT see this seven minute animation which explains all of the issues:

This short film introduces you to some key people involved in VPA processes:

To find out about Fern's FLEGT related projects visit the EU Map of FLEGT projects, by clicking on the link below:

Most recent publications

Lessons learned from community forests in Mexico and Guatemala, to benefit community forest work in West and Central Africa

This paper summarises Fern staff member Julia Christian's lessons from studying community forestry in Mexico and Petén (Guatemala), from March-July 2016, hosted by the Mexican non-governmental organisation Reforestamos. To see a photo-blog of her experience visit Mexico's community forest protectors.

Communities & forests in Kenya: Where are new laws taking them?

On 26 May 2017, the still-new African Court handed down a landmark ruling on a case brought against the Government of Kenya by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights on behalf of the Mau Ogiek forest dweller community. The judgement requires that the Government of Kenya respects the Ogiek’s ownership of the Mau Forest. It found insufficient grounds for evicting them on either the grounds of public or conservation interest.  The judgement confirmed that the main degradation of the forest stems not from Ogiek occupation, but state actions including the issuing of logging concessions. This Briefing Note, written in March 2017 looks closely at broader elements of the domestic legal situation affecting the right of Kenyan communities to own and manage forests on their lands.

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PDF iconbriefingnote kenya_final.pdf666.51 KB

Blog: Hope for a hard-pressed community

By Mark Olden

Looking at Tan Hoi village in Vietnam, this blog shows the potential of the EU-Vietnam VPA.

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