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Why does Legal Timber Matter?

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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Viet Nam: business learns to engage with work in legal timber production and trade
    FAO-EU FLEGT PROGRAMME SUCCESS STORY
    2019
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    Viet Nam, a major timber importing and processing country, has seen exponential growth of its forest-based industries over the past decade. Besides importing timber from some 80 countries across Asia, Africa and South America, Viet Nam exports timber products worth USD 7 billion (all figures 2016) to major markets worldwide. That includes trade in timber products with the European Union (EU) worth USD 736 million. To expand trade and ensure access to the EU market, Viet Nam and the EU have developed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). This legally binding bilateral trade agreement centers on implementation of Viet Nam’s Timber Legality Assurance System (VNTLAS) which defines and verifies legal timber and leads to Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licenses that expedite access to the EU market. The broader objective of the VPA is to improve forest governance in Viet Nam, combat illegal logging, and promote trade in verified legal timber products.
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    Book (series)
    Enabling micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in legal timber production and trade
    Transformational changes generated by the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme
    2022
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    Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) play a critical role in meeting the growing demand for forest products worldwide, with potential to contribute to responsible supply chains that combat illegal logging while promoting economic growth. However, a growing number of countries are adopting demand-side control measures that require proof of legality of forest products. Forest sector MSMEs will require significant support – and changes to the types of support they receive – to fulfil and even take advantage of these new and emerging market requirements and related opportunities. This paper draws from 110 initiatives in 20 countries supported by the FAO-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Programme between 2016 and 2022 and seeks to provide examples of how to support forest sector MSMEs cost-effectively and at scale to integrate them into domestic and international legal timber value chains. The initiatives discussed in this paper offer a wealth of experience and knowledge, which can be capitalized upon to boost forest-dependent livelihoods and promote both social equity and sustainability within timber supply chains. Implementing a portfolio of these strategies in a comprehensive support package generate “transformational changes” that help realize the potential of MSMEs to move past traditional business-as-usual modes of operation towards sustainable growth and more inclusive, resilient economies.
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    Project
    Contributing to Sustainable Forest Management and Poverty Reduction by Tackling Illegal Logging and Promoting Trade in Legal Timber Products - GCP/GLO/397/EC and GCP/GLO/600/MUL 2023
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    Poor forest governance, unclear legal frameworks, weak law enforcement and demand for cheap timber and timber products all contribute to illegal practices in the forest sector. These practices jeopardize efforts to improve sustainable forest management (SFM) and have a significant impact on a country's ability to achieve broader sustainable development goals such as poverty alleviation, food security and climate change mitigation. As part of an effort to tackle illegal logging and associated trade, the European Union’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan was established in 2003 to help tropical timber producing countries establish and implement measures to promote trade in legal timber products. Under this framework, tropical timber producing countries and the European Union enter into Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs), bilateral trade agreements which commit to exporting only legal timber into European markets. In this context, the FAO EU FLEGT Programme provided technical support and resources for the negotiation and implementation of VPAs, while in countries not engaged in a formal VPA process, the Programme supported measures to improve law enforcement, timber legality assurance and overall forest sector governance.

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