18 February 2019

New Policy Brief on Voluntary Partnership Agreement in Ghana

New policy brief:
"European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement in Ghana: Introducing needed change or reinforcing business as usual?". 

The shortened version of the policy brief below is redirected by SCIENCE from Copenhagen Centre for Development Research:

The European Union (EU)’s Forest LawEnforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT)Action Plan is a forest conservation anddevelopment intervention that has raised greatexpectations in many countries since itsenactment in 2003. FLEGT symbolizes the EU’s assumed responsibility to tackle illegal logging and trade of illegally harvested timber products. A key element of the FLEGT Action Plan is thenegotiation of bilateral Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) between the EU and tropical timber producing countries. Aimed at supporting partner countries to stop illegal logging by improving forest governance and regulation, the VPA process clarifies the definition of legal timber in the country of origin, and outlines a TimberLegality Assurance System to verify and certify legality. A joint committee with EU and partner country representatives (government agencies, civil society, and private sector) oversees and reviews the implementation of the agreement. Currently, seven countries - Ghana, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Liberia,Indonesia, and Vietnam - have entered VPAs with the EU.

The VPA processes are receiving praise from FLEGT practitioners as well as some international and domestic civil society and international scholars. But an emerging body of research is also shedding light on a range of unintended and un-acknowledged outcomes of VPAs and in general, casting doubts on their efficacy against deeply entrenched interests and practices...  Read the whole policy brief here.

Thumbnail photo by Jens Friis Lund.