The Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan was established in 2003 as an innovative first attempt by the EU to curb illegal logging and related trade, promote sustainable forest management, and address some of the underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation. It also identifies measures to stop conflict timber and prevent investment in activities which encourage illegal logging. Nonetheless, illegal logging remains a persistent problem across the world. In some countries, 90% of all logging activities are illegal. Corruption, still widespread in most timber-producing countries, lies at the heart of the problem.
Transparency International considers that the commitments and measures contained in the FLEGT Action Plan should be strengthened and the EU should enhance its efforts to implement them through to completion. This includes ensuring the full EU-wide implementation and effective enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), the effective implementation of the signed Voluntary Partnership Agreements, and an emphasis on a broader, more comprehensive conception of illegality which includes compliance with international human rights and environmental laws.
This briefing is Transparency International’s contribution – jointly with 8 further civil society organisations – to the policy debate related to the evaluation of the EU’s FLEGT Action Plan, the review of the EUTR, and the EU’s commitment to halt deforestation and restore degraded forests by 2020. Read the full briefing here.