FLEGT Week 2015: Private sector seminar, the Report
FLEGT Week 2015 was a unique opportunity to reflect on the full scope of the EU FLEGT Action Plan, including but not limited to VPAs and the EU Timber Regulation, learn from the achievements and challenges, and discuss technical aspects of FLEGT. It took place on 16-19 March in Brussels.
Below you will see the highlights of the thematic seminar on private sector.
Private sector. Improving forest governance: What drives private sector engagement?
Tuesday 17 March, from 14:30 to 18:00
- The tropical timber trade with Europe continues to decline and the selective logging of natural forest is also in crisis. In its place is timber coming from forest conversion and monoculture plantations of fast growing lightwoods for the paper industry, panels and engineered products.
- There has been a displacement effort; the "good" wood is going to sensitive markets and the "bad" wood going to the less discriminating.
- Wood for energy (fuelwood) now makes up 50% of global consumption, and soon Africa will be the biggest consumer of wood.
- Levelling the playing field is the main issue for the private sector, and FLEGT will be adhered to if it succeeds in this.
- Helping SMEs: Big companies find it easy to get legal, yet VPA processes can help SMEs too by giving them a voice to call on government to cut red tape and in doing so make it easier to formalise their businesses so they can invest and get the raw materials they need.
- Reduce the cost of capital: Demonstrate to the investment and banking community how FLEGT helps manage their business and reputational risks, so they decrease the cost of capital and banking services for FLEGT-licensed companies.
- Revive tropical timber: "Removing illegal timber from the trade should push prices up – no premium is needed if the EU Timber Regulation and VPAs work!" A buyer
- FLEGT can help revive tropical timber by reducing production costs (conflict, corruption, capital) and increasing timber prices: if we don't use forests designated for production we will lose them.
- The private sector sees positive outcomes from VPAs; they give voice and legitimacy to SMEs, contribute to simplifing complex regulations and revising poor legislation, drive out the cowboys, improve the reputation of timber and help attract good employees.
Moderator Andrew Roby
- Emmanuel Groutel, economist and international consultant
- René Oukem, FECAPROBOIS
- Tom Van Loon, Interholco / Danzer
- Françoise Van de Ven, Secretary General of the FIB
- Serge Moukouri, Cameroon, FLAG
- Ulrich Grauert, Interholco
- Gemma Boetekees, Forest Stewardship Council International
- Raphael Yeboa, Forestry Commission of Ghana
- Christophe Du Castel, French Agency for Development
- Peter Latham, James Latham PLC
- Art Blundell, Natural Capital Advisors
Reporters Art Blundell, Andrew Roby, Alain Penelon and Xavier Rossi
Keywords Private sector, certification, risk, investment, SMEs