Ghana and the EU reaffirmed their commitment to effective implementation of the VPA
On 15 March 2012 the Government of Ghana and the European Union (EU) reaffirmed their commitment to effective implementation of the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) at the 4th meeting of the VPA Joint Monitoring and Review Mechanism (JMRM) in Accra.
The Ghana-EU JMRM oversees development of the systems needed to implement the agreement and to follow up on commitments made by both parties. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the development of a framework for monitoring the impacts of the Agreement and it was agreed that a framework will be prepared in time for the next joint meeting. Ghana highlighted advances in the development of a workable system for verifying the legality of timber and reported that it will soon announce the new service provider who will take forward this work at national scale. In addition, the process to recruit an Independent Monitor is completed and should be contracted shortly.
The 2010 and 2011 Annual Reports on the VPA implementation will be published by the end of April 2012. It is expected that the next series of meetings of the JMRM will be held in Accra in September 2012.
It is expected that Ghana will begin to issue FLEGT licenses for legal timber by March 2013, in time for the implementation of the European Union Timber Regulation.
See the full press release here. The Aide Memoire will be available on the EU and Forestry Commission websites.