How has the EU FLEGT Action Plan influenced governance? What is FLEGT's future role as a governance tool?



The EU FLEGT Action Plan sets out how the EU will tackle illegal logging and associated trade and states that it is 'the start of a process which places particular emphasis on governance reforms'. The Action Plan encourages improvements in a number of governance dimensions including land tenure, stakeholder participation, transparency, corruption, rule of law, policy and legal reform, and accountability of the forest administration and judiciary. Participants will explore how the EU FLEGT Action Plan has influenced governance in general and forest governance in particular, and will reflect on the role of the Action Plan in the future.



  • Participants learn about and reflect on the governance expectations and objectives of the Action Plan.
  • Participants learn about the Action Plan's influence on governance from a variety of perspectives.
  • Participants reflect on the governance challenges and the future of FLEGT as a governance tool.


Who is in it?

Sue Unsworth, The Policy Practice

Sue Unsworth worked for many years for the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID), including as Regional Director for Asia and Chief Governance Adviser. She was one of the main initiators of DFID's Drivers of Change programme that advocated the need for donors to gain much better understanding of political context and process. She has been a Research Associate at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, and has worked with a wide range of donors to help them apply political economy analysis to development practice. She is a Principal at The Policy Practice, and a Trustee of the Overseas Development Institute.

Saskia Ozinga, FERN

Ozinga is the founder and campaign coordinator of FERN. She studied biology and healthcare at Wageningen University and the Hogeschool Utrecht. Since graduating, she has worked as a teacher of environmental science at the Hogeschool Utrecht and for nearly 10 years as a campaigner at Friends of the Earth Netherlands. While at FERN she has facilitated NGO coalitions on different topics related to forests and community rights, and written and published numerous books, articles and reports on themes such as forest certification, trade and forests, effective advocacy, improving forest governance and forests and climate. She has been a board member of various organisations, including Tropenbos International and the Alliance for Sustainable Development, and is currently a board member of the Forest Peoples Programme and The Forest Trust.

Ruth Noguerón, World Resources Institute

Noguerón is a researcher working with the World Resources Institute's (WRI) Forest Legality Alliance. The Forest Legality Alliance seeks to reduce illegal logging by supporting the supply and procurement of legal and sustainable forest products. Within WRI Ruth has managed and conducted forest-mapping projects in Canada, United States, Brazil and Perú. Before joining WRI, Ruth worked in Mexico City at the Tropical Action Forest Program (PROAFT). Also in Mexico, Ruth worked with a private consulting firm in a national effort to evaluate the natural protected areas of Mexico, a project sponsored by the World Bank and the Mexican government. Ruth has a Bachelor's degree in biology from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City, an Associate's degree in applied geography from Montgomery College, Maryland, and a Masters' degree in Environmental Sciences from Johns Hopkins University.

Roberto S. Waack, Amata S.A.

Founding member and Chairman of the Board of Amata S.A., a Brazilian forestry company. Board member of GRI - Global Reporting Initiative, WWF BrasilIBGC – Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance and Ethos Institute. Former Chairman of the Board of FSC - Forest Stewardship Council and member of the board of other entities involved on sustainability, technology management and governance. Former CEO Director of forest and pharmaceutical companies. Biologist with a Masters Degree in business administration from the University of Sao Paulo with focus in New Institutional Economics.

Patrice Kamkuimo Piam, CED

Patrice Kamkuimo works with the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) in Cameroon on the governance in the management of natural resources. His main focus is on monitoring the VPA negotiation and implementation. Patrice is particularly interested in protecting the rights and interests of local and indigenous communities with regard to forests and land. Since February 2014, he has served as Coordinator of the Community and Forest Platform. He is also the civil society representative to the VPA's National Monitoring Committee, Joint Monitoring Committee and Technical Working Group. He holds a postgraduate degree in Botanic and Ecology from the University of Yaoundé.

Nora Bowier, Sustainable Development Institute (SDI)

Bowier is the coordinator of the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) in Liberia. Her experience centers on natural resource governance and community rights. From 2009 to 2011, she worked as the FLEGT VPA project leader at the SDI in Liberia facilitating communy participation and coordinating civil society engagement in the development of the Liberia-EU VPA. From 2012 she coordinated SDI's Community Rights and Corporate Governance (CRCG) program, engaging in research on the Liberia's social development funds, advocacy on community rights and benefits, and corporate social responsibility in the forest, mining and palm-oil sectors. She has a B.SC. in biology from Cuttington University in Liberia. 

Misael León, ICF

Fred Pearce, freelance journalist and author

Fred Pearce is a freelance author and journalist based in London. A former news editor of the UK-based New Scientist magazine, he has been its environment consultant since 1992, reporting from 85 countries. He also writes regularly for the Yale e360 web site in the United States, and the Guardian and other newspapers in the United Kingdom, as well as irregularly for many other outlets. He won a lifetime achievement award for his journalism from the Association of British Science Writers in 2011, and was voted UK Environment Journalist of the Year in 2001. His recent books include The Land Grabbers, When the Rivers Run Dry and Confessions of an Eco Sinner. They have been translated into 23 languages. When the Rivers Run Dry was listed among the all-time Top 50 Sustainability Books by the University of Cambridge's Programme for Sustainable Leadership.  

Faith Doherty, Environmental Investigation Agency

Doherty has been involved in environmental and human rights work for more than 25 years. During the 1990s, based in Thailand, she worked alongside the human rights community with a special focus on Burma. Her work with the pro-democracy movement both within Burma and those in exile included issues related to the border regions of India, Bangladesh and China. Doherty returned to the United Kingdom and joined EIA in the late 1990s. She is currently leading EIA's Forest campaign with a focus on East Asia and markets in Europe. Overseeing investigations in the field, and working closely with civil society networks in country she is able to work with and campaign for the best and most courageous of communities facing huge pressure as their forests and land are threatened. 

Chris Beeko, Forestry Commission Ghana

Beeko coordinated the Ghana process during the VPA negotiation phase and was a key member of the negotiation team. He is now Director of the Department that is leading Ghana in the implementation of the Ghana Legality Assurance System (GhLAS) and the VPA as a whole. The Department he heads, the Timber Validation Department (TVD), is also the designated Verification Entity under Ghana's arrangement for timber legality assurance systems. He has worked with the Forestry Commission from 1986 to date and has a mixed background in forestry, IT and forest governance. Beeko has been involved in the development and facilitation of a number of multi-stakeholder dialogue processes. 

Benjamin Cashore, Yale University

Cashore is Professor of Environmental Governance and Political Science at Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is Director of the Governance, Environment and Markets (GEM) Initiative at Yale and directed the International Union of Forest Research Organization's (IUFRO) task force on International Forest Governance. Cashore's major research interests include the emergence of non-state governance innovations, their intersection with traditional governmental processes, and the role of firms, non-state actors, civil society and governments in shaping these trends. His research focuses on understanding how the interaction of multiple levels of governance, public and private sectors  might evolve to produce durable global environmental governance solutions. Cashore was awarded the 2014 the International Union of Forest Research Organization's "Scientific achievement award" for his contribution to forest governance and policy scholarship. 

Anand Punja, UK Timber Trade Federation

Punja plays a leadership role within the UK Timber Trade Federation, strategically supporting and representing UK timber traders on all aspects of sustainability, the key one being responsible sourcing particularly supporting members with EUTR obligations. As part of this, Punja supports members' supply chains to understand the role they have in supporting European businesses to comply with the EUTR and to engage them in the wider FLEGT agenda. He also supports members' customers, particularly those in the UK construction industry to better understand the nuances and increase demand for responsibly sourced timber. 

Agus Sarsito, Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia

Sarsito has been involved in the development of the Indonesia Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK) since 2003, and led the Indonesia-EU FLEGT-VPA negotiations as chief negotiator. He participates in all formal VPA implementation meetings between the two parties, in particular the Joint Implementation Committee meetings. As Director of the Center for Coordination of Forestry Development at the Ministry of Forestry, he was in charge of the development of Forest Management Units in the Sumatra Region from 2012 to 2014. Recently, Sarsito has been appointed Director of the Center for Forestry Standardisation and Environment.


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Background materials

ETFRN News: Moving Forward with Forest Governance. Tropenbos International.

Discussion paper: Politically smart, locally led development. Overseas Development Institute.

Paper: The EU-Ghana VPA: a comprehensive policy analysis of its design. Chris Beeko (Forestry Commission of Ghana) and Bas Arts (Wageningen University, Netherlands).