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Civil society organisation EcoDev begins training to raise awareness about FLEGT in Myanmar/Burma

More than 25 representatives of several civil society organisations from Tanintharyi and Sagaing regions, Yangon and Kachin State gathered in Yangon from 11 to 13 June to develop a coalition of trainers who will raise awareness of FLEGT among civil society organisations and local community organisations. The Myanmar professional development group Economically Progressive Ecosystem Development (EcoDev) organised the training with input from Environmental Investigation Agency and the EU FLEGT Facility. This is the first step towards engaging with civil society stakeholders as they consider whether a VPA would benefit Myanmar.

Participants were presented with an overview of FLEGT, and they heard about how addressing illegal logging through a VPA process can support better governance and policy reforms. 

During the training, participants identified and discussed forest governance challenges that affect all stakeholders from government, the private sector and civil society, including:

• the role of armed groups in the forest sector
• the key interests and concerns of civil society groups in their localities.

Participants drafted follow-up activities to encourage discussions that could inform future national consultations about engaging in the VPA process.

EcoDev plans to continue building the capacity of stakeholder organisations to engage on FLEGT and to support the establishment of structures and processes for civil society engagement.