Indonesia and the EU hold first Joint Implementation Committee meeting and begin second stage of the joint TLAS assessment
In September and October, Indonesia and the EU held the first Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) meeting and technical working sessions on the VPA annex review, VPA monitoring mechanisms and the joint timber legality assurance system (TLAS) assessment conducted by independent consultants.
On 24 September, the JIC met for the first time since the VPA was ratified by both parties in April. The JIC endorsed a joint communication strategy and agreed to establish a secretariat to facilitate its work. More than 30 representatives from the government, private sector and civil society participated. They included on the Indonesia side officials from the government agencies appointed as JIC members, and one representative each of the private sector and civil society. The EU was represented through officials from the EU delegation and the embassies of several EU countries. The civil society representative delivered a statement outlining their position on VPAs, which included consistent scope for VPAs for all VPA countries, EU member state enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation, and implementation of the VPA annex on public access to information in Indonesia.
During the JIC meeting, the EU FLEGT Facility gave a presentation on the four monitoring mechanisms defined in the VPA: independent monitoring, impact monitoring, periodic evaluation and independent market monitoring. VPA implementation is advancing in all of these areas.
Indonesia established a multistakeholder technical working group, which includes the EU FLEGT Facility, to develop a national VPA impact monitoring system. The JIC is responsible for endorsing the system. To support this work, the Multistakeholder Forestry Programme(MFP3) gave a presentation during the JIC meeting on the scope, methodology, principles and processes associated with impact monitoring.
The independent consultants began the second stage of the joint TLAS assessment on 23 September.They presented their initial findings at a national stakeholder workshop on 17 October and will submit their final report in November. The findings will feed into the update of the Indonesia-EU joint action plan on VPA implementation agreed between the parties in November 2013.