Global governance, trade and investment

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Through FTA work on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEGT), certification and domestic timber markets, research has informed the debates about the implementation of the European Union’s timber policy in Central Africa and Indonesia.

Emphasis has been on understanding the impacts of formalization, derived from implementing legality verification systems, in domestic markets. Research has made visible the magnitude of the impacts of the domestic timber sector on income and livelihoods, and examined options to leverage the potential of markets for small-scale logging and chainsaw milling.

By informing regulatory framework change in producing countries, FTA played an active role in a number of countries – either voluntary partnership agreement (VPA) countries (i.e. Cameroon, Indonesia), or non-VPA countries (i.e. Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru) – in informing changes and/or adjustments of regulatory frameworks, as shown in Table 1 (numbers represent some conservative figures of likely impact achieved).

Table 1. Influence of FTA in Policy and Regulatory Frameworks in the Timber Sector
Country Policy influence Time when change occurred Approximate # of beneficiaries (HH) Forest area (M ha)
Bolivia (a) Introduced regulations and incentives for undertaking integrated forest management in the northern Amazon 2012-2015 5,000 0.9
Cameroon (b) Introduced incentives in the regulatory system to informal local forest users 2010 – ongoing 4,000 6.5
Ecuador (c) Improved incentives for SFM and forest restoration for forest restoration and avoiding forest degradation 2013-2015 3,500 0.2
Guatemala (d) Supported incentive systems to favor business operations in forest concessions 2015 1,000 0.8
Indonesia (e) Introduced a step-wise approach for implementing the legality assurance system (SVKL) by type of producer 2013-2014 200,000 2.0

Notes: a. Pacheco et al. (2016); b. Cerutti and Lescuyer (2011); c. Mejia et al. (2015); d. Rodas and Stoian (2015); e. Obidzinski et al. (2014)

In Indonesia, FTA supported small-scale furniture producers in the district of Jepara (120,000 workers, US$800 million of annual trade) in organizing participation in furniture tradeshows in Jakarta and internationally; establishing a furniture maker association; constructing a web-based selling system, securing timber supply; and qualifying for the Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK by its acronym in Indonesian). The association became the main platform for training and facilitation activities, and served to attract the attention of the local parliament. Association members earn 20 percent more than non-members do. The research team drafted a “Jepara Furniture Roadmap” which was adopted almost verbatim into a local law.

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