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Transparency commitments

Transparency commitments

A lack of transparency in a country's forest sector is among the governance challenges that enable illegal logging to continue. A Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), therefore, incorporates commitments by the partner country to make information available for public scrutiny to improve transparency and accountability.

Partner-country commitments to transparency appear in several places in a VPA text and annexes. Most VPAs have an annex on public disclosure of information that lists the information a partner country commits to make public.

Disclosing information strengthens governance in the forest sector and enables the implementation of the VPA to be monitored. Some VPAs also recognise the role of independent observers in monitoring and reporting on VPA implementation.

The commitments in a VPA text and annexes are, however, not the only ways in which a VPA promotes transparency. The very nature of a VPA process and the participatory approach to decision making exposes a country's forest sector to scrutiny.

Read more in the section of VPA Unpacked on how a VPA can increase transparency.