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Stakeholders in Ghana shape a framework to monitor effects of the VPA

The first meeting of the joint Ghana–EU working group on impact monitoring took place at the Little Acre Hotel in Aburi in Ghana on 13–14 August. Ghana is the first VPA partner country to start working on monitoring the effects of the VPA. Partners in the VPA have a common interest in monitoring the impacts of the Agreement to determine whether it is achieving the two parties' original objectives. Gathering evidence of impacts will support the development of targeted mitigation measures.

In preparation for the meeting, a multistakeholder team in Ghana identified the issues to consider for monitoring. The EU also identified a set of priority issues for monitoring across all VPAs, based on the objectives of the FLEGT regulation establishing VPAs (in English and French) and the EU FLEGT Action Plan. 

During the meeting, Ghana and the EU each presented their views on possible impact areas, along with a description of the process through which these areas had been identified. The group then worked together to identify the similarities and differences between the two sets of issues. The resulting 10 impact areas reflect a combination of Ghana and EU priorities.

The next meeting of the joint working group will be held in November. An independent expert has been invited to the next meeting to help the working group select the most appropriate methodology for adding further detail to the impact monitoring framework.