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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

Robinson Djeukam Njinga Memorial

On 19 August 2015 our dear friend and colleague, Robinson Djeukam Njinga, an environmental and social justice lawyer and activist in Cameroon, passed away suddenly in a hospital in Yaoundé. With his passing, Fern and many others working on forests, have lost an esteemed ally. Robinson’s warmth, dedication, engagement and professionalism will be in our memories forever.

Letter to Malaysian Government re: Sarawak Report

This letter on behalf of human rights and environmental NGOs in Malaysia and the EU express concern about an arrest warrant for London-based investigative journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown, founder of Sarawak Report.

PDF iconNGO letter_Clare Rewcastle.pdf366 KB

Protecting forests, improving livelihoods – Community forestry in Mexico

This report by Ernesto Herrera Guerra, outlines the lessons that have been learned from Mexico’s approach to community forestry.

Mexico’s community forests are among the most advanced in the world, with communities collectively owning more than 50 million hectares of the country’s 63 million hectares of forest and forest management decisions largely being made at local level.

Protecting forests, improving livelihoods – Community forestry in Guatemala

This report by Silvel Elías, professor in the Faculty of Agronomy at the University of San Carlos de Guatemala, analyses the Guatemalan model of community forestry.

Minutes of Community Forestry workshop, Brussels, 3-4 April 2014

These are the minutes of the Community Forestry Workshop, organised by Fern in Brussels on 3 and 4 April 2014. The meeting brought together participants from 30 countries to share their understanding and experience of community forestry, and develop action plans for their own countries.