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 VPAs. This edition is from December 2015.
Fern staff and board hope that you will join us in 2016 in working towards an EU that protects forests and respects and strengthens the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples. The Paris climate agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals, the FLEGT Review and a new EU Action Plan to protect forests and respect rights all provide hope f
The EU and Vietnam recently concluded a Free Trade Agreement and reaffirmed their determination to conclude negotiations for a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) promoting sustainable and legal timber trading. In a statement, a group of Vietnamese NGOs, supported by Fern, has reminded both parties that the only way to guarantee a legal and sustainable timber trade is through improved forest governance, and has called for civil society organisations to have a clearly defined role in the VPA process to ensure credibility though independent monitoring from the ground.
Forests and rights NGO Fern has welcomed the commitment made by five EU countries to eliminate deforestation from their agricultural commodities trade by 2020, and called on the European Commission to follow this pledge with urgent action.
This statement, endorsed by 57 prominent human rights and environmental organisations from Europe, Africa, Asia,and North America, argues that carbon markets will never deliver for southern governments, forests or people.
Forests barely feature in the draft text, but runaway climate change could devastate the forests which more than a billion people directly rely on for their survival. Forests also play a crucial role in regulating the climate. Whichever way you look at it, the outcome of the Paris agreement is also an outcome for forests.
Kate Dooley is in Paris, tracking the developments in the UN climate summit. She has written this overview of the talks from a forests perspective for Fern. Check back later in the week for further perspectives from Kate and other contributors.
Coal is the single biggest contributor to man-made climate change, while deforestation accounts for up to one-sixth of CO2 emissions. So when forests are torn down to make way for coal mines the danger to the planet intensifies.