All about the Thailand-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement
Of Thailand’s 51.1 million hectares of land, 16.4 million hectares (32.1%) are forested. Natural forests account for 41% of Thailand forest cover, naturally regenerated forests 35%, and planted forests 24%, the highest plantation figure in Southeast Asia. More than half of the plantations are rubber plantations managed by smallholders. Logging in natural forests has been banned since 1989.
The government plans to increase forest cover to 40% by stimulating tree planting by smallholders and revising major regulations of the forestry sector. A revised Forest Act, a new National Land Act (Khor Thor Chor) and a Community Forest Bill, published in April/May 2019, indicate this.
Thailand is a regional manufacturing hub for wood products. While importing large amounts of pulp and paper and high-quality timbers, Thailand is also the world's largest producer of rubberwood products. The country is an important supplier of sawn wood, wood-based panels and wooden furniture to consumer markets in Asia such as China, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan. Timber trade with the EU was worth USD 267 million in 2014, while export of all wood and paper products (including furniture) totalled USD 4,384 million.
The formal VPA process between the Government of Thailand and the EU started in late 2013. After preparatory technical work, the first official negotiations took place in June 2017, followed by second negotiations in July 2018. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is the lead ministry in the VPA negotiations. Technical work is done by a multi-stakeholder working group chaired by the Director General of the Royal Forest Department.
For more information, visit the Thai-EU FLEGT secretariat (TEFSO) website.
- Supporting forest- and timber-based MSMEs in the Mekong region to operate legally and sustainably 27.08.2020
- Trees give small farmers in Thailand access to loans 30.04.2020
- South-east Asian countries share progress to tackle illegal logging and its associated trade 20.01.2020
- Old wood becomes a source of legal timber in Thailand 18.09.2019
- Briefing note provides new insights on small and micro-sized entities in the Mekong forestry sector 27.06.2019