Fern has published research showing that the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) have led to clear improvements in forest governance. the publication of the research came as the European Commission released an independent review of the FLEGT Action Plan, the EU’s flagship forest policy.
The research was based on responses from representatives of civil society networks that coordinate efforts to improve their countries’ forest sectors.
The VPA trade deals are a central pillar of the FLEGT Action Plan; they rightly assume that tackling illegal logging requires significant governance reforms in timber-producing countries, without which regulations will not be effective.
This report examines the five key pillars of good governance identified by Fern and others (accountability, transparency, coordination, participation and capacity), with an additional question about the quality of pro-poor legal reforms and implementation in the forest sector.
The findings and recommendations in this report have been endorsed by the Community Rights Network (CRN), which met in April 2016 to discuss common strategies to improve forest governance and strengthen community rights worldwide.