South-east Asian countries share progress on timber legality
Representatives of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), ASEAN member States and the European Union (EU) met in Thailand in July to share progress under national and regional efforts to tackle illegal logging and its associated trade.
The meeting focused in part on national efforts to assure the legality of timber products, including through Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU, under the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. Participants presented progress in VPA partner countries and shared experiences to foster learning among countries.
Participants also heard updates on the implementation of the EU FLEGT Action Plan and other EU policies, the Workplan for Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in ASEAN (2016-2025), and other initiatives such as the development of a Regional Voluntary Code of Conduct for Forest and Timber Companies in ASEAN.
Other topics discussed included: the challenges faced by small and micro forest enterprises in the Mekong region in legal timber trade; participation of civil society and private sector in systems to assure the legality of timber; timber imports from within and outside the region; timber legality and forest conversion; and possible priorities for future EU support to FLEGT in the region.
Participants included government, industry and civil society representatives from ASEAN member States involved in FLEGT/VPA processes: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Representatives of the Chinese Government, private sector and civil society also attended.
The ASEAN Secretariat, the Government of Thailand and the EU FLEGT Facility organised the workshop. It was the sixth in a series that have taken place in Vietnam (2010), Malaysia (2012 and 2013), Laos (2014) and Indonesia (2016).
Download the workshop report [PDF]