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Bringing community forestry to the next level: a review of European support in the Congo Basin
By: Fern
Published: April 4, 2019
Countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, DR Congo, Gabon, Republic of Congo
Topics: Community Forestry Community Rights FLEGT
Document type: Report
Document ID: 6938
View count: 63
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Bringing community forestry to the next level: a review of European support in the Congo Basin
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In the past two decades, community forestry has yielded uneven results in the Congo Basin. The initial goal – enabling local communities to benefit directly from forest management – is not yet a reality. Problems include uneven political support, legal and technical constraints, land grabbing and revenue capture. All of these have a detrimental impact on communities.

Community forestry has nonetheless become established in the region, and its potential to strengthen communities’ livelihoods, protect forests and meet climate objectives is widely recognised.

Stronger and better support to community forest management is timely given Congo Basin and EU donor commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. All of these processes insist on the role of good forest management in poverty, reduction, biodiversity protection and the fight against climate change.

All those affected (including civil society and local communities) have a role to play in ensuring community control over forests contributes to more resilient forests, clearer land rights, and better development outcomes.

This report concludes that it is time to act – the Congo Basin forests and communities shouldn’t wait when solutions are already at hand.

Trade agreements and transparency: under construction – VPA update, December 2018
By: LoggingOff, Fern
Published: December 4, 2018
Countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Laos, Liberia, Myanmar, Republic of Congo, Vietnam
Topics: FLEGT
Document type: VPA updates
Document ID: 6792
View count: 141
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Trade agreements and transparency: under construction – VPA update, December 2018
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Illegal logging and the illicit timber trade thrive when legal frameworks, rights and benefits are unclear and complex to enforce. Transparency is therefore at the heart of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) and over the last decade, countries implementing or negotiating a VPA have made important advances in processing, collecting, monitoring and publishing information on the forest sector and related activities.

Both in the negotiation and the implementation phase, the VPA process has provided governments with incentives to improve transparency. Much more needs to be done, however, to ensure that low-tech (concessions registers and tracking documents) and high-tech (such as satellite imaging) transparency informs virtuous policy-making and practices that contribute to healthier forests and forest sectors, and coherent land use planning.

This VPA update focuses on the benefits already achieved in terms of transparency, as well as the steps that still need to be taken. In terms of global biodiversity, climate, and the ancestral homes and livelihoods of the people who depend on forests, a great deal is at stake.

Community Forestry in Liberia
By: Fern NGO
Published: March 13, 2019
Countries: Liberia
Topics: Community Forestry
Document type: Briefing note
Document ID: 6463
View count: 33
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Community Forestry in Liberia

Liberian communities have managed forests for thousands of years. However, new land rights laws and market demands have substantially altered how much communities can benefit from their forests.

This report, written by Adam Manvell with help from Sustainable Development Institute Liberia, Save My Future Foundation (SAMFU), Farmers Associated to Conserve the Environment (FACE), and Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), outlines different ways that communities have benefited from owning and managing small-scale forests. Small-scale forestry is common in Liberia, but not reflected in national legislation.

The report reveals that more research and support is needed from NGOs and the government, so that communities can evaluate how they can best benefit and manage their forests.

The long road to timber legality – Taking stock of the EU-Vietnam VPA timber trade deal
By: Fern, SRD
Published: December 6, 2018
Countries: Vietnam
Topics: Community Rights FLEGT
Document type: Briefing note
Document ID: 6428
View count: 40
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The long road to timber legality – Taking stock of the EU-Vietnam VPA timber trade deal

 On 19 October 2018, after eight years of negotiations, the Voluntary Partnership Agreement – a timber trade deal between the European Union (EU) and Vietnam – was signed in Brussels.

Civil society has been rightly concerned about such a deal being signed whilst Vietnam remains a regional hub for illegal timber, but this briefing note explains why the trade agreement offers to Vietnam the opportunity to clean up its act.

It concludes that stopping the deal would shut down the opportunity for reform, but that reforms will only work if civil society must maintain scrutiny and vigilance during the implementation process.

Empowering communities in forestry laws key to stopping global deforestation
By: Client Earth
Published: February 13, 2019
Countries: Other
Topics: Community Forestry
Document type: Report
Document ID: 5521
View count: 34
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Empowering communities in forestry laws key to stopping global deforestation
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The right set of laws are crucial to ensure that ‘community forests’ are successful in halting deforestation, mitigating climate change and preserving biodiversity while also providing livelihoods for communities that depend on them, a new legal report shows.

Environmental lawyers from ClientEarth have released findings that demonstrate how important the right legal framework is for creating successful community forest systems, which grant formal management rights of forests by and for local communities and indigenous people.

Drawing on two years of research from Nepal, the Philippines and Tanzania, Communities at the heart of forest management: How can the law make a difference was launched yesterday at a Congo Basin community forest conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The Congo Basin, home to the second largest tropical rainforest in the world covering over two million km², would particularly benefit from community forest systems. This is due to the rise of large-scale agriculture, logging and mining projects that have resulted in land grabs, rights violations and environmental degradation with little evidence of benefit to local communities.

ClientEarth law and policy advisor and report co-author Nathalie Faure said: “Halting deforestation is crucial if humanity is to prevent catastrophic climate change and biodiversity loss. Granting management rights to communities on forest land and creating ‘community forests’ has been proven to reduce deforestation.

“Drawing on the lessons from the Philippines, Nepal and Tanzania, we can see that the right laws are vital for community forests to be successful in providing livelihoods, while also preserving biodiversity and halting deforestation.

“These three countries prove that protecting forests and providing livelihoods is not a zero-sum game. So with inclusive laws, community forests can be a cost-effective opportunity to secure long-lasting environmental, social, economic and cultural benefits.”

Forest-dependent communities have managed forests for generations and a growing number of countries worldwide are recognising how important this community role can be. This is a paradigm shift away from the approach of conceding forest areas to companies and states to either exploit or protect them.

But key to the success of community forests are strong, clear and inclusive laws to properly empower communities to use, manage and benefit from their forests. The report sets out 10 key recommendations to ensure laws foster community forests, including:

  • Recognise links between land and forest tenure – community forestry laws should reflect community customs and uses of forests and land, including those of indigenous people, to ensure communities have clear tenure (the right of individuals or communities against forcible evictions).
  • Simplify the allocation process – allow self-determined communities to follow the process themselves with a procedure that is streamlined and inexpensive and also allows external support if needed.
  • Enable participation – the law should include specific provisions to encourage participation of all community members, especially from vulnerable groups such as women and indigenous people.
  • Enforcement – it is important to identify what constitutes an offence and clearly state sanctions and who can issue them, with clear identification of the roles and responsibilities of communities and governments.

Faure added: “Community forests are not a new concept but the models are less developed in the Congo Basin due in large part to unclear and incoherent legislation and weak governance. There is a real opportunity in the region for ongoing reforms to take into account the lessons learned from the Philippines, Nepal and Tanzania to empower forest-reliant Congo Basin communities and have their forest lands protected for the benefit of the planet.”

Client Earth Forest Logbook
By: Client Earth
Published: February 13, 2019
Countries: Other, Cameroon, Central African Republic, DR Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Laos, Liberia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Republic of Congo, Vietnam
Topics: - Other - FLEGT
Document type: - Other -
Document ID: 5511
View count: 113
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Client Earth Forest Logbook

ClientEarth has launched a new online resource to provide access to information about forestry laws. The free online tool offers open access to unbiased legal information regarding the forestry sector, with information on forest governance. The ‘Forest Logbook’ links to resources published by organisations and institutions, selected based on their impartiality or on their official status. ClientEarth encourages users to send new or updated information that could be added to the logbook to increase the information available. In the future, the Forest Logbook will be expanded to include more information on non-timber forest-risk commodities, such as palm oil and soy.

 

 

EUTR News – November 2018 to January 2019
By: Client Earth
Published: February 13, 2019
Countries: Other, Guyana
Topics: Due Diligence Legislation FLEGT
Document type: - Other -
Document ID: 5504
View count: 20
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EUTR News – November 2018 to January 2019

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 November 2018 to January 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.

If you have any updates to share that we could include in the next newsletter,  or you would like to receive this newsletter by email, please email: forests-contact@clientearth.org.

Community Forestry in Liberia: Community Forest Management Plan processes and draft template for Commercial Use Contract negotiations in community forest operations
By: Sustainable Development Institute Liberia (SDI)
Published: August 15, 2018
Countries: Liberia
Topics: Community Forestry
Document type: Report
Document ID: 3477
View count: 34
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Community Forestry in Liberia: Community Forest Management Plan processes and draft template for Commercial Use Contract negotiations in community forest operations

On June 6 & 7 SDI organized a workshop that brought together members of the NUCFMBs to update them about community forest management processes and gather their perspective more broadly. It included discussions on the development and implementation of community forest management plan and inputs to draft template for negotiating Commercial Use Contracts with third parties interested in logging in CFMA forests. A total of 34 persons including 28 males and 6 females participated in the workshop. Of the 34 participants, 30 were selected from CFMBs, 3 from the NGO coalition and 1 from the National Union of Community Forestry Development Committee (NUCFDC). The speakers included 1 from FDA, 1 from PADEV, two from Heritage Partners & Associates (HPA), and 1 from SDI. Dayougar Johnson, Country Consultant for American-Jewish World Service, facilitated the 2 day workshop.

Read more: Community Forestry-Workshop report, June6-7

Signed Aide Memoire_Technical Session of JMRM
By: Civic Response
Published: August 8, 2018
Countries: Ghana
Topics: FLEGT
Document type: Memorandum
Document ID: 3840
View count: 38
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Signed Aide Memoire_Technical Session of JMRM

A technical session of the Joint Monitoring and Review Mechanism (JMRM) to facilitate the implementation of the Forest Law Enforcement and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between Ghana and the European Union (EU) took place in Accra on 17th July, 2018. The session discussed progress on key aspects of the VPA implementation.

INVESTIGATE GALAMSEY ALLEGATIONS AGAINST FC CEO
By: Civic Response
Published: August 3, 2018
Countries: Ghana
Topics: - Other -
Document type: Press release
Document ID: 3610
View count: 33
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INVESTIGATE GALAMSEY ALLEGATIONS AGAINST FC CEO

Forest Watch Ghana observes with great concern recent allegations about involvement of CEO of the Forestry Commission of Ghana, Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, in illegal mining. FWG, therefore, calls for investigation into the allegations.