FLEGT Week 2015: Governance 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 governance.

Governance: How has the EU FLEGT Action Plan influenced governance?


  • For some stakeholders FLEGT, through the VPAs, has gone beyond the initial expectations. Although participation of civil society organisations and communities is usually quite limited or nonexistent in shaping texts of legally binding trade agreements, FLEGT proved that not only the participation levels can be high but also that they are crucial for achieving high quality legally binding trade agreements.
  • Politically smart, locally led bargaining is leading FLEGT to help countries change from informal power-based politics to more formal rules-based processes, which are aligned with best practices for addressing governance challenges.
  • FLEGT is influencing governance even beyond VPA countries and this indirect, global influence is considered important for countries such as Brazil.
  • Domestic market and land tenure were highlighted as key issues to be better addressed in the future. Corruption and effective law enforcement also need sustained attention.
  • FLEGT would benefit from linking to the climate change agenda.


Moderator Fred Pearce, freelance journalist


  • Agus Sarsito, Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia
  • Misael León, The National Institute for Conservation and Forest Development, Protected Areas, and Wildlife, Honduras
  • Patrice Kamkuimo, Centre for Environment and Development, Cameroon
  • Sue Unsworth, The Policy Practice
  • Saskia Ozinga, FERN
  • Anand Punja, UK Timber Trade Federation
  • Chris Beeko, Forestry Commission Ghana
  • Roberto Waack, Amata S.A., Brazil
  • Faith Doherty, Environmental Investigation Agency
  • Ben Cashore, Yale University
  • Ruth Nogueron, World Resource Institute

Reporters Melissa Othman and Lea Turunen, EU FLEGT Facility