A group of NGOs, including Fern, has issued a briefing paper calling on the EU to strengthen the measures contained in the FLEGT Action Plan as a way of tackling illegal logging. The briefing is the NGOs’ contribution to the policy debate related to the evaluation of the FLEGT Action Plan, the review of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), and the EU’s commitment to halt deforestation and restore degraded forests by 2020.
The recommendations of the NGOs are:
1. Demonstrate strong political commitment to the effective implementation of the VPAs and strengthen their impact, including through addressing governance, integrity and sustainability challenges.
2. Ensure the EUTR is strictly and effectively enforced, its product scope extended to all wood-based products, and green timber procurement policies are increasingly taken up.
3. Strengthen and encourage the development of rules governing the international timber trade and improve overall policy coherence.
4. Adopt specific measures to address conflict timber, to stem the flow of conversion timber, and to shift investment away from forest-damaging activities as part of the FLEGT Action Plan implementation.
5. Adopt additional measures to support the protection and restoration of forest ecosystems around the world and eliminate deforestation from the EU’s supply chains, as part of a new EU Action Plan on deforestation and forest degradation.