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Preparations continue for the first round of VPA negotiations in Thailand

Stakeholders in Thailand are preparing for the launch of formal VPA negotiations between Thailand and the EU. A team from the EU FLEGT Facility visited Thailand in early June to learn how the government is structuring the process and which issues in timber control and timber legality had been identified. The visiting team met with government and a number of other relevant stakeholders.

The Thai Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has set up three sub-committees within the Thai VPA negotiation committee to support VPA negotiations, the development of a timber legality assurance system and stakeholder coordination. Members of the private sector expressed a clear interest in the VPA and gave their support to the establishment of a full-time VPA secretariat under the Royal Forest Department. NGO representatives have begun discussing how they will contribute, with the first of a series of national workshops, facilitated by RECOFTC, taking place on 6 August. Many forest stewards of community forests, family forests and Tree Bank attended the workshop. Thailand is the fifth country in Asia to enter into VPA negotiations with the EU.