News from Cameroon

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Cameroon’s multistakeholder working group maintains momentum on VPA implementation

The joint implementation committee in Cameroon has set up a working group with members from a broad spectrum of stakeholders to move the VPA process forward. They met for the second time on 18 July 2014 in Yaounde to address current issues in implementing the Cameroon–EU VPA. The group discussed VPA impact monitoring, the findings of a study on seized timber and forest title allocation processes carried out by the independent auditor, the forthcoming stocktaking exercise on the progress of VPA implementation and issues around conversion timber in the context of agricultural and infrastructure projects.

The working group takes an approach to advancing VPA implementation that is unique to Cameroon. It keeps stakeholders directly involved as the country implements the agreement. It also allows stakeholders who follow progress on the VPA to provide input to the working group sessions through the members, who are expected to provide feedback to their constituencies.

The working group gave recommendations and input on issues for the next joint implementation committee based on the 2014 work plan, such as: 

• recommending ways to consider the findings of the studies carried out by the independent auditor
• developing terms of reference to assess the progress on realising commitments in the VPA
• developing terms of reference for a methodology for monitoring the impacts of the VPA.

In addition, the group discussed conversion timber and the VPA. Conversion timber is timber that has been recuperated from forest lands that are designated for other purposes, such as for agricultural commodities, infrastructure or mining projects. 

The working group consists of representatives from the ministries of Commerce and Forestry and Wildlife, the EU Delegation to Cameroon, Cameroonian civil society organisations, represented by the NGO platform European Community Forest Platform and the private sector, represented by the Cameroonian national organisation of employers of the forest sector Groupement de la filière bois du Cameroun. The working group also includes two technical advisors, one from GIZ, the German agency for international cooperation, to the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and the other from the EU FLEGT Facility for the VPA process.

For more information, visit the VPA Cameroon website or the website of the EU Delegation in Cameroon.