The EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan represents the European Union’s flagship attempt to tackle the root causes of illegal logging. It sets out a series of measures, including a Regulation (the EU Timber Regulation) requiring companies to verify the legality any timber products they import to the EU.
A key element of the FLEGT Action Plan is a series of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs). These agreements between timber producing countries and the EU aim to ensure that wood being exported to the EU is legal and that forest governance in the exporting country is improved. VPAs work by tackling the root causes of illegality, which include corruption and lack of clarity about land rights.