To promote trade in legal timber and timber products, governments and other stakeholders must have the capacity to:
- Enforce the law
- Hold people accountable
- Track timber and control supply chains
- Understand and comply with legal requirements
- Verify the legality of timber
However, such capacity is often lacking in timber-exporting countries, enabling illegal logging to persist.
Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) processes can not only identify capacity gaps, but also help to fill the gaps. Capacity can be built either during the VPA process, or through the commitments the parties make in the text and annexes of a VPA. Most VPAs to date have described areas where a partner country has identified capacity gaps that need filling. Read more in the section of VPA Unpacked on how a VPA can strengthen capacity.