Private sector


Improving forest governance: What drives private sector engagement? 



Private sector engagement is crucial to the success of the Action Plan. Yet building and maintaining private sector participation has its challenges. What are the real drivers of private sector engagement and what lessons can we learn from the various approaches we have taken ­– from private certification schemes to corporate responsibility polices to participation in multi-stakeholder processes such as VPAs? In this seminar we will consider these questions and private sector views on the future of the Action Plan.



  • Discuss the challenges private sector operators face in supplying and accessing legal timber
  • Exchange experiences and lessons learnt about private sector engagement in FLEGT and VPA processes
  • Identify drivers of private sector engagement and options to support it
  • Discuss private sector views on next steps for the Action Plan


Who is in it?

Serge Moukouri, Cameroon, FLAG

Serge Moukouri is a forest engineer by training and has spent more than a decade in the field of forest and governance monitoring. He has taken part in the implementation of Independent Monitoring of Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (IM FLEG) initiatives in different countries in the Congo Basin for international NGOs as technical assistant and project manager. He has a good knowledge of logging activities with which he has been in contact all this time as an independent monitor.

He co-founded Legality Field Advisory Group, a sub-regional civil society organisation within the Congo basin which aims to strengthen and build capacity of nationals civil society organisations The organisation currently supports three partners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo Basin and Côte d'Ivoire in the framework of a project implemented under the EU FAO FLEGT Programme.

Peter Latham OBE, James Latham PLC

Peter Latham OBE is Chairman of James Latham PLC, a company that distributes wood based sheet material and joinery quality hardwood and softwood from 10 sites throughout the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1757 and is a public company traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Peter is a director of the Programme for the Enforcement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) International board, which has endorsed certification of sustainability of the largest area of world forests. He is a member and past chairman of the industry's environmental committee, Forests Forever and a Trustee of the Commonwealth Forestry Association. He is a past president of the Institute of Wood Science and of the High Wycombe Furniture Manufacturers' Society.

He was awarded an honour in the Queen's New Year's list of 2012 for services to the wood industry in promoting use of legal and sustainable timber.

Art Blundell, Natural Capital Advisors

Art Blundell, PhD (Natural Capital Advisors, LLC) is an advisor to the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission and a consultant to the Washington-based think tank Forest Trends. Art works at the intersection of the management of natural resources and conflict.

He is the former Chair of the Panel of Experts on Liberia monitoring sanctions for the UN Security Council. Art has worked with DfID and the European Commission on Liberia's VPA negotiations. Previously, Art served as a Fulbright scholar in Indonesia, and as an AAAS Science-Diplomacy Fellow with both USAID and EPA. He worked with the Africa Development Bank to incorporate forestry into the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative; with FAO on monitoring forest governance; and with Transparency International on anti-corruption monitoring and forestry.  

Art now lives in Vancouver; he received his PhD from Dartmouth College and BSc from University of British Columbia.

Christophe Du Castel, French Agency for Development

Du Castel is an agronomist who started his career as an expert in agricultural water management. He worked in several developing countries in Africa and the Middle-East. He later joined the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD). There he worked on the integrated management of agricultural systems in Central Africa and Latin America. He later worked for the French Agency for Development (AFD) and the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM). Since 2010, Du Castel has been in charge of biodiversity in the division of Agriculture, rural development and Biodiversity at the AFD.

Emmanuel Groutel, economist and international consultant

Groutel is an economist in the forest sector. He is an international consultant for FAO, EFI, ATIBT, COMIFAC and the CEEAC. He is associate professor at the Ecole Supérieure du Bois de Nantes. His areas of interest are wood economy, international flows, timber trade and related products, marketing of forest products and legality of exchanges. He has been working in the forest sector for more than 30 years and on all continents. 



Gemma Boetekees, Forest Stewardship Council International

Boetekees is Global Network Director with the Forest Stewardship Council International (FSC). FSC is a global, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management worldwide, enabling businesses and consumers to make informed choices about the forest products they buy, and create positive change by engaging the power of market dynamics. Boetekees is member of the FSC management team and coordinates the FSC Network of more than 45 national FSC Partners around the world and five regional offices providing support to FSC's stakeholders. Boetekees has been engaged for 20 years in promoting sustainable forest management. She previously coordinated the International Markets Program with Dutch development organisation ICCO, providing trade support to small producers. Her career in FSC includes the establishment of one of the first FSC national Offices in The Netherlands, in close collaboration with the 19 innovators from the corporate sector and NGO's. She further coordinated FSC's work in Europe, and was campaign leader of the Dutch Heart for Wood campaign, a pioneer's campaign of Friends of the Earth, WWF and Oxfam Netherlands in close collaboration with the Dutch corporate sector, establishing market solutions for sustainable forest management and products. 

Françoise Van de Ven, Secretary General of the FIB

Active in the forests sector from 1979, Françoise worked in Belgium until 1997 and in the private sector in DRC since then. She is Secretary General of the Fédération des Industriels du Bois (FIB) and member of several committees and commissions (ITIE, VPA FLEGT, several piloting committees in supporting programmes and private sector projects in DRC). She is administrator inATIBTERAIFT and RIFFEAC.

Andy Roby, forestry adviser

Roby is a forestry graduate (Bangor BSc, Oxford MSc) with more than 30 years' experience in international development and the timber industry. For the first 10 years he  worked in Jamaica and Cameroon on forest management projects (plantations, natural forest, community forest) and did short forestry assignments in other parts of Africa. After completing an MBA at Henley Business School he worked as a forestry adviser and programme manager for the European Commission on Asia and Latin America, and then for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) covering West Africa. For five years he advised the UK timber trade on corporate social responsibility with a special focus on illegal logging, responsible purchasing and stakeholder relations. He has worked in Indonesia since 2007 helping to help develop a timber licensing scheme that ensures only legal timber is exported from Indonesia to the European Union. He does triathlons to fight the flab and rides a motorbike to beat the Jakartan traffic!

Tom Van Loon, Interholco / Danzer

Van Loon is the environmental and social responsibility manager for Interholco / Danzer. He has more than 15 years' experience in tropical forest management, mostly in Asia, West Africa and Central Africa. At Danzer, he is responsible for forest management and chain of custody certification, ISO 14001 certified environmental management systems, social aspects (community and human rights, local development), and responsible procurement through a due diligence system which is certified as EU Timber Regulation compliant. He studied bio-engineering and land and forest management (Leuven, Belgium) and has an M.Sc. in tropical forestry (Wageningen, the Netherlands). 

Ulrich Grauert, Interholco

Grauert is the managing director of Interholco and and the chief operating officer of Danzer-Africa. He has a B.Sc. in economics and politics and more than 25 years' experience in business in of tropical Africa. 


Oukem is a civil engineer. He worked for more than 10 years in the construction, civil engineering and wood sector in Europe before going back to Cameroon. He is a promoter of several construction and wood processing companies. He is the president of the Cameroonian Federation of Associations and Professionals of the wood processing, FECAPROBOIS, since its foundation in July 2012. The federation positions itself as an actor to help guarantee access to legal wood to entrepreneurs. Oukem is also a delegate within the new Interprofession of the Wood Sector in Cameroon (IPFB), where he promotes and develops the ‘wooden house' ("maison en bois"). He represents as well the FECAPROBOIS in several working groups of the wood sector in Cameroon.

Raphael Yeboah, Forestry Commission of Ghana

Yeboah is a practicing forester and a lawyer and the Executive Director of the Forest Services Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana. Since 1985, he has worked with the Forestry Commission in various positions. As a policy and law expert, Yeboah was part of the team and a multi-stakeholder committee that negotiated the Voluntary Partnership Agreement. Since its ratification he has led the piloting and roll-out of Ghana's Legality Assurance System (GhLAS) from the forest operations side.

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