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Forest Law and Governance: NGO Statements

NGO letter to Commission re: responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making

This letter from eight environmental NGOs asks the European Commission to ensure that all participants of their conference 'Tackling illegal logging and deforestation: progress made and opportunities for future action' have the necessary materials to contribute effectively.

Mexican community forest constitution

This is a typical constitution for a community forest in Mexico.  It is the central document setting out how the community governs itself and its land and resources. It covers issues such as:

  • How the community assembly takes decisions
  • The functioning of the community’s representative bodies (the management board and the surveillance committee) - how they are elected, what their responsibilities are, and how they are held accountable
  • The different types of land within the community’s property – Common Use Area, individual/family parcels, and residential land
  • How the Common Use Area (forest) is to be used, how decisions about it are taken, and how the use of it can be contracted to third parties
  • What constitutes the community’s Common Funds, and how these Common Funds can be spent
  • Penalties for non-observance of community rules
  • The relationship between community rules and Mexican statutory law
  • The acceptance and ejection of community members
  • The transferral of community members’ rights to new people

It may be useful for communities, NGOs, government and academics working to develop community forests in other regions.

Consejo Civil Mexicano para la Silvicultura Sostenible supported the community of San Antonio de la Laguna in the elaboration of this constitution.  More information about their work with communities can be found on their website.  

Fern's input to the EU Consultation on revising the European Consensus on Development

Fern's input into the European Commission consultation on how development policy, in the context of EU external action as foreseen by the Lisbon Treaty, should respond to the range of landmark 2015 summits and conferences, and also to the rapid changes happening in the world.

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PDF iconFern response to consultation.pdf107.78 KB

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. The EU Parliament resolution urges the New Alliance to address the severe problems it is causing, including undermining sustainable small-scale food production and food security, and provoking land grabbing.

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.

It is available in German, English, French and Spanish.

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.

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Most recent publications

ForestWatch VPA Update November 2017: A year on from FLEGT licensing

LoggingOff and Fern publish occasional Forest Watch updates detailing events in countries negotiating a Voluntary Partnership Agreement from a civil society perspective.

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PDF iconVPA Update Nov2017.pdf5.35 MB

Sacrificing South America’s forests on the altar of EU market access

The first trade talks between the European Union and the Mercosur bloc of nations - Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – began almost 20 years ago. Since then they have stuttered through 28 rounds of negotiations, but this year it looks as if an agreement will finally be reached. A critical issue remains unresolved, however: the amount of beef the South American nations can export to the EU...

The fate of the Congo Basin forests must lie with its people

By Marie-Ange Kalenga

A light breeze of democratisation is blowing through the Congo Basin – and it is being driven by civil society.

Analysis of gender impacts of the Ghana Voluntary Partnership Agreement with European Union

Fern commissioned this study of gender issues in Ghana’s FLEGT VPA as a tentative first step to looking at gender issues which have to date received only scant attention.It offers TAYLOR CRABBE INNITIATIVE’s observations about how gender issues have been dealt with i

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PDF iconbriefing gender ghana final.pdf741.67 KB

Independent Forest Monitoring: a chance for improved governance in VPA countries?

The forest sector is particularly vulnerable to poor governance including corruption, fraud, and organised crime. Illegality in the sector generates vast sums of money and has helped fuel long and bloody conflicts.

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PDF iconforest monitoring final.pdf514.15 KB

Ghana is on the brink of a major advance in its fight against illegal logging. But now its forests face serious threat from mining.

By Samuel Mawutor

Between 1990 and 2005 Ghana lost an estimated quarter of its national forest cover. Illegal timber harvesting was rife, and poor governance and a lack of transparency plagued the forest sector.

Things began to change for the better from 2008 with the introduction of the Natural Resources and Environmental Governance programme, an initiative supported by international donors on the basis that Ghana agreed to reform its forest sector, and improve the governance of its natural resources more generally.

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