Stakeholders explore options for improving legal compliance and enforcement related to forest conversion in Mekong countries

Experts from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam with experience in FLEGT, REDD+ and corporate responsibility met to discuss forest conversion and related policies in the Mekong region. The aims of the three-day workshop, organised by Forest Trends, were:

• to disseminate new findings on the characteristics and extent of illegal land conversion
• to share information about tools and policy opportunities for leveraging credible legal compliance in land conversion in the region
• to build a network of experts across countries in order to develop policy processes and to identify and support synergies
• to identify opportunities to facilitate dialogue and advocacy at the ministerial level

Forest conversion in the Mekong region for commercial agriculture and infrastructure strongly correlates with land rights abuses. Recent Forest Trends research suggests that a substantial proportion of this land is being deforested illegally. Much of this conversion is linked to private investments in the energy, mining and agricultural sectors.

The workshop is part of an initiative to strengthen policy synergies and relationships among stakeholders involved in the REDD+ Readiness and VPA processes in the region. The initiative is exploring options for improving legal compliance and enforcement. A summary of the workshop is available from Forest Trends.

For more information, visit Forest Trends website or contact LScott @