Yesterday, Congo drew one step closer to an anti-illegal logging deal with the European Union. Known as a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), it aims to ensure all timber brought into the EU comes from countries that have signed up to this novel scheme. Congo ratified the agreement after lengthy negotiations between government, industries, civil society and the EU. It will now set up a Joint Implementation Committee to oversee implementation of the VPA
Committee duties include:
– Reporting on implementation
– Monitoring and evaluation
– Examining complaints about the functioning of the FLEGT licensing scheme
– Ensuring the participation of civil society organisations and other interested groups in implementing the VPA.
– Amending annexes like the legality grid
The FLEGT licensing system needs several key components before it can be fully operational, including legal reforms, a sustainable independent monitoring system and a traceability system.
We will continue to work with civil society to support of the process. For more information, watch this space.