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Tackling illegal logging in Ghana: Why civil society is generating pressure to deliver a VPA

by Samuel Mawutor


 

I have just returned from a two-week policy tour of Europe, visiting decision makers working on the EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan in Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands. I was hoping to whip up interest in and support for FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) by showing Member States the successes and impacts that the Ghana VPA is already having. I also wanted to raise the challenges that civil society are having with the process. Together with my colleagues from Liberia and Cameroon, we also sought to highlight the fact that FLEGT is a transformational approach to developmental aid, which may be slow but could have far-reaching effects.

How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? Focus on forests

In September 2015, world governments adopted an Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. The aims are noble and daunting – end all forms of poverty, fight inequality, address climate change, and ensure that no one is left behind.

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PDF icon Focus on forests.pdf401.04 KB

Where are forests in Europe’s plans to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality?

by Indra Van Gisbergen

In September 2015, after the largest consultation in the history of the United Nations, more than 150 world leaders agreed on a new agenda to “free the human race from the tyranny of poverty”.

The Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) lay out 17 universal goals, targets and indicators to frame the agendas and policies of UN member states for the next 15 years.

Launched amid great fanfare with the support of celebrities from Beyoncé to Usain Bolt and Stephen Hawking, the SDG’s aims include ending “poverty in all its forms everywhere”; achieving “food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture”, and taking “urgent action to combat climate change and its impact”.

But between outlining these lofty ambitions and realising them, lies an enormous gulf: the daunting and fiendishly complex task of agreeing on the policies required.

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 icon Fern response to consultation.pdf107.78 KB

Comment on the COP21 - a forest perspective

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.

New study finds EU donors spend millions of Euros halting deforestation while funding projects that drive it

20 March 2015. On the eve of UN International Day of Forests, this press release launches a new study commissioned by Fern to take stock of EU spending on forests. It finds striking incoherence at the heart of donor spending. Fern believes this could be fatally undermining the efficiency of aid to forests and calls for increased coherence and new priorities.

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PDF icon Tracking Trends final.pdf375.41 KB

Taking stock: Tracking trends in European Aid for forests and communities

Forests and forest-dependent communities are under increasing pressure due to infrastructure projects and the demand for agricultural commodities. Although there is growing recognition of the importance of forests in mitigating climate change, this makes them vulnerable to a new threat: that they will be appropriated to capture potential payments to compensate for carbon emissions (REDD+ initiatives).

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PDF icon fern_takingstock_internet.pdf3.26 MB

NGO letters re: European Commission’s support to Civil Society Organisations through thematic programmes

On 26 April 2012 a coalition of NGOs wrote to Director-General Fotiadis to share their concerns about recent trends in the reduction of financial support available for civil society through the thematic programmes of the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI).

Forestwatch issue 141

  • Obstacles on the road to sustainable bioenergy criteria
  • Climate haggling... to be continued
  • UK timber procurement: Help shape criteria
  • The Saami Council applauds breakthrough
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PDF icon OPEN179.99 KB

Environmental tools in EC Development Cooperation

This report follows on from the 2007 FERN, BirdLife and WWF report ‘Transparency and availability of EC aid documentation | a review’. It provides an analysis of 21 geographically-diverse country and regional environmental profiles in order to assess the quality and value of the information they provide.

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PDF icon English1.58 MB

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