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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 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

EU - Stop Supporting the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition

This statement on behalf of Fern and Transparency International (TI) welcomes the European Parliament resolution adopted on 7 June 2016, which calls on the European Union (EU) to halt its support to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.

Tackling illegal logging, deforestation and forest degradation – a global agenda for the EU

This letter from eight NGOs to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission encourages the EU to intensify its diplomatic efforts with major forest-rich countries to tackle illegal logging, deforestation and forest degradation, engage in sustained dialogue at the highest level with its partners internationally, and increase the coherence of its policies to effectively play its part in ending deforestation and the rights violations frequently associated with it.

Letter to agriculture ministers for European Council meeting on FLEGT

This letter to agricultural ministers thanks them for their actions to control illegal logging and encourages them to ensure all forest risk commodities’ supply chains consist of only legally and sustainably sourced products, free from deforestation, and develop an EU Action Plan on deforestation and forest degradation, to ensure policy coherence across different sectors.

Japan’s new law fails to meet G7 commitment to halt the trade in illegal timber

This joint letter on behalf of 15 organisations highlights serious weaknesses in Japan’s new law intended to stop the trade in illegal timber. It outlines the measures that the Japanese government should take to ensure their legislation has a positive impact on the illegal timber trade. It is also available in Japanese.

Scoping Study on EU-China Relationships in the Forestry Sector

China’s rapid economic growth has spurred a massive demand for natural resources – including timber, agricultural commodities and minerals – the vast bulk of which are imported. Although it is estimated that the proportion of China’s imports of illegally sourced timber has fallen, the total volume of illegally sourced timber nearly doubled from 17 million in 2005 to 33 million m3 in 2013. A substantial part of these imports is exported to Europe.

New evidence shows EU’s ground-breaking illegal timber policy works

(Brussels) May 4, 2016 – As the European Commission releases a review of its flagship forest policy, new evidence from social and environmental justice NGO Fern shows the benefits it is bringing in many tropical forested countries.

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