Home » English / Anglais / inglésYou are here:  
EUTR News – July to September 2019
By: ClientEarth
Published: October 25, 2019
Countries: Gabon, Honduras, Indonesia, Liberia, Myanmar
Topics: FLEGT
Document type: - Other -
Document ID: 8166
View count: 57
Email this document
EUTR News – July to September 2019
There is a translation of this document available:

This issue of the EUTR News provides an update on the operation of the EU’s law to address
illegal logging, the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), from July to September 2019. As with all of our
previous editions, this issue will include information on what both the European Commission and
EU Member States are doing to ensure the proper application of the EUTR, and provide updates
on similar legislation internationally.

DECLARATION OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS FROM FORESTED TROPICAL COUNTRIES
By: Fern
Published: October 11, 2019
Countries: Cameroon, DR Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Laos, Republic of Congo, Vietnam
Topics: Climate Change Community Forestry FLEGT Independent Forest Monitoring (IFM) REDD+
Document type: Statement
Document ID: 8142
View count: 239
Email this document
DECLARATION OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS FROM FORESTED TROPICAL COUNTRIES

In September 2019, environmental and human rights defenders from Africa and Asia came to the EU to sound the alarm over accelerating forest loss in the Congo Basin and the Lower Mekong regions. Their message was clear, the EU must play a key role in finding global solutions if it is serious about protecting biodiversity and greening its policies.

In this statement, the civil society leaders urge the EU to step up efforts to fight illegal logging and to reward progress in producing countries implementing a voluntary partnership agreement (VPA).

Healthy forests = equitable livelihoods, inclusive development and a resilient climate
By: Fern
Published: October 1, 2019
Countries: Other
Topics: Climate Change Community Forestry Community Rights FLEGT
Document type: Briefing note
Document ID: 8139
View count: 84
Email this document
Healthy forests = equitable livelihoods, inclusive development and a resilient climate

The EU has been at the forefront of the fight against illegal
logging. A 2016 independent evaluation of its Forest Law
Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan
(including its Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA) and
the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR)) found that it helps promote
legal timber, improves governance and increases forest
dependent communities’ rights. The European Commission’s
2018-2023 FLEGT Workplan provides an important roadmap,
but it has not been made public so stakeholders cannot yet
monitor progress.

The EU must strengthen FLEGT’s implementation by
ensuring adequate financial and political support.
It must also go beyond illegal logging, looking at forest
destruction caused by large-scale agriculture, mining, and
agricultural development. We urge the EU to build on
governance gains from existing VPAs for timber in order
to halt deforestation and human rights abuses caused
by forest risk commodities.

Our Forests Our Lives
By: Fern
Published: September 25, 2019
Countries: DR Congo, Ghana, Guyana, Laos, Liberia
Topics: Community Forestry Community Rights Due Diligence Legislation FLEGT
Document type: Report
Document ID: 8128
View count: 160
Email this document
Our Forests Our Lives
There is a translation of this document available:

Stories of hope and resilience from forest communities around the world

Due to the growing realisation that deforestation affects us all, five years ago a coalition of governments, businesses, civil society organisations and Indigenous Peoples’ groups made a historic pledge to halve deforestation by 2020.

Yet this goal is nowhere near being realised. In fact, forest loss is accelerating.

The stories in this report, however, show a path to a better future – one in which the people most directly affected by deforestation are at the forefront of actions to tackle it.

It raises the voices of the Liberian women fighting to own and govern land that’s rightfully theirs, of the Guyanese Indigenous Peoples resisting companies attempting to seize their forests, of the rural Lao communities adapting to profound changes in lifestyles that have endured for generations, and of the Ghanaians finally getting justice from the logging operators in their areas.

This report also highlights seven key elements that the EU should focus on to improve the way forests are managed and strengthen community ownership rights: Accountability, capacity, coordination, transparency and equity in benefit sharing, gender and participation.

Combined, these elements can be the bedrock to protect the world’s forests for future generations.

Community Access To Information In Forest Areas Planned For Conversion To Other Uses
By: Maeying Huamjai Phattana (MHP)
Published: June 11, 2019
Countries: Laos
Topics: Community Forestry FLEGT
Document type: Briefing note
Document ID: 8115
View count: 141
Email this document
Community Access To Information In Forest Areas Planned For Conversion To Other Uses

As Lao PDR develops, communities living in forest areas throughout Lao PDR have been and will continue to lose access to their natural resources as they are converted by large projects into hydropower dams, tree plantations, or other uses, and leading to social conflict and impoverishment (for examples see IUCN, 2011; Baird, 2011; McAllister, 2015).

In such instances, local communities using the forests rely on government agencies to provide them with information about the project, and how they are expected to continue their lives without such access.  However, despite a legal requirement to provide these communities with such information in a transparent manner, this has rarely occurred.   As Kenney Lazar et al. (2018:27) observe:

“When Turning Land into Capital-type projects are pursued, there is a lack of information available for the public concerning how the project will be developed, what will be the costs and benefits for affected persons, the Lao government, and society at large. Sometimes there is even a lack of information about the exact location of the project.”

Why communities are key to protecting Congo Basin forests
By: Fern
Published: August 30, 2019
Countries: Other
Topics: Community Forestry FLEGT REDD+
Document type: Briefing note
Document ID: 8099
View count: 191
Email this document
Why communities are key to protecting Congo Basin forests

Forests are better protected when managed by the local communities who depend on them. In the Congo Basin, community forestry has the potential to improve rural living conditions, help protect and sustainably manage natural resources (including trees) and contribute to climate objectives. But for this to happen, policymakers must ensure that community forestry laws secure customary land rights while empowering local communities to manage forests. This briefing describes how Fern and its partners engaged in the CoNGOs project to improve the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities in the Congo Basin through better forest governance and practice. The project has also influenced policies in the Congo Basin and in the EU (European Union). Dialogues on community forestry between governments, EU institutions, civil society organisations and communities have challenged negative perceptions about community forestry, demonstrating how it can help preserve tropical forests and strengthen livelihoods.

2019 County Forest Dialogue in Gbarnga, Liberia
By: Volunteers to Support International Efforts in Developing Africa (vosieda)
Published: August 29, 2019
Countries: Liberia
Topics: Community Forestry FLEGT
Document type: Meeting and workshop report
Document ID: 8118
View count: 105
Email this document
2019 County Forest Dialogue in Gbarnga, Liberia

The dialogue brought communities, companies, local and national leaders face to face to debate issues affecting the sector to increase participant’s knowledge, reduce conflict and improve forest governance. Participants from four counties in the region – Lofa, Nimba, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu – took part in four panel discussions:

  • Roles and responsibilities of key forest stakeholders
  • Benefit sharing mechanisms of forest resources
  • Dispute, prevention and resolution mechanisms in forest governance
  • Experience sharing on challenges (noncompliance, interference and illegal logging)

The dialogue was intentionally held at at a county level (distinct from the more common national gatherings), in an effort to create sense of ownership and unity among communities and companies by sitting face-to-face to share ideas on how to handle their forest contracts, social agreements, and illegal logging matters. Discussions identified several drivers of disputes including: the Forest Development Authority’s continual backing of companies even when it is clear that a company is in violation of the forestry laws; lack or low knowledge of forestry laws, regulations, and procedures by key forest stakeholders; poor communication and or information sharing; interference by local authorities into the functions of community forest structures (CFDCs and CFMBs); mismanagement, misappropriation and misrepresentation of forest structures, etc. The event ended with participants making an extensive list of recommendations for sustainable forest management.

Guide for Community Based-Independent Forest Monitoring
By: Civil Society Independent Forest Monitors Liberia (CS-IFM)
Published: August 23, 2019
Countries: Liberia
Topics: Community Forestry Community Rights Independent Forest Monitoring (IFM)
Document type: Training material
Document ID: 8110
View count: 101
Email this document
Guide for Community Based-Independent Forest Monitoring

This guide is designed for use by community members to conduct independent forest monitoring activities in their local area. It provides tips on how to gather information and, why and how to present these findings. The guide will help community-based independent forest monitors to ensure that economic and other forms of benefits from forests are accessed and managed in a sustainable way by communities themselves.

It is important to ensure community-based forest monitors have adequate understanding of their roles and responsibilities and are thereby enhancing their capacities to monitor and report effectively. The guide lays out the obligations of a community-based forest monitor as well as the need for periodic follow-ups in the form of trainings, mentoring and quality-control.

It is important that the larger public understand the concept of community based-independent forest monitoring so that sustainable solutions for reducing illegalities in the forestry sector are provided.

Making Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) work for forests, people and the climate: civil society recommendations for the future of VPAs
By: Fern and partner NGOs
Published: March 16, 2017
Countries: Other
Topics: FLEGT
Document type: Briefing note
Document ID: 7825
View count: 228
Email this document
Making Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) work for forests, people and the climate: civil society recommendations for the future of VPAs

As decision makers in the European Union (EU) and timber producing countries consider the future of the FLEGT Action Plan, and its Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA), civil society organisations and platforms from Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guyana, Liberia, Honduras, Indonesia, Republic of the Congo, Vietnam, and Europe have issued Making VPAs work for forests, people and the climate a new briefing with recommendations for how to strengthen and upgrade the VPAs.

The briefing reflects on progress after a decade of implementation including looking at multi stakeholder participation, increased transparency and reduced illegal deforestation. It suggests concrete ways to address challenges and step up current efforts including increased enforcement of just laws, enhanced policy coherence, and inclusive decision making. If the proposed changes are taken on board, VPAs will continue to effectively contribute to governance improvements, forest protection and sustainable local livelihoods.

With growing recognition of the importance of forests for delivering climate and development goals, the EU and partner countries must refocus their efforts on VPAs. They are a unique experiment in working with all parties to tackle the underlying drives of deforestation such as over consumption and poor land rights. Now is the time to ensure that VPAs deliver on their promise and are ready to respond to the rapidly changing global environment.

CLIMATE SOLUTION: Healthy forests and resilient communities in the Congo Basin
By: Fern
Published: April 1, 2019
Countries: Other
Topics: Climate Change Community Forestry Community Rights
Document type: Briefing note
Document ID: 7780
View count: 223
Email this document
CLIMATE SOLUTION: Healthy forests and resilient communities in the Congo Basin

Enabling local and indigenous communities in the Congo Basin to take over forest management has the potential to restore natural forests, conserve biodiversity, combat illegal logging, address climate change and secure sustainable livelihoods. By managing forests sustainably and inclusively, community forestry can help curb deforestation and reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions, as well as supporting sustainable resource management and development.

However, “community forestry management” is a contested concept. Governments in the region and donors tend to reduce community forestry to usage rights, resource exploitation focusing on timber extraction and the redistribution of revenues to communities often through the intervention of third parties. Such approaches ignore the recognition and protection of customary tenure and other community rights, making indigenous peoples and women particularly vulnerable to national policy changes and re-distribution of land (or large-scale land acquisitions by companies).

Creating effective, equitable, sustainable and genuinely community-based management of resources requires an informed and participatory approach to addressing the legal, governance, capacity and financial constraints that communities face especially IPs and women. Secure communities, equipped with good evidence about their forest management options, can claim their rights and participate effectively in strengthening and sustaining their livelihoods, while protecting forests.

Fern Submission to the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit for CLARA