BOGOR, Indonesia (21 October 2013) — On 30 September, 2013, the government of Indonesia signed the Collaboration Agreement on the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT-VPA) in Brussels. The long-awaited pact caps six years of negotiations over technical details of the plan, which aims to stem illegal logging by ensuring that only legally sourced timber products are imported by the European Union from Indonesia.
The pact is “one of a number of initiatives that are being addressed at different scales to tackle some of the major forest governance problems and challenges in Indonesia,” says Andrew Wardell, Director of Forests and Governance Research at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Wardell recently led a panel discussion with fellow CIFOR scientists about the agreement, which he called a “major achievement,” though he expressed concerns about caveats and weaknesses within the pact.
Indonesia is the first Asian country — and also the largest timber-exporting country — to sign the FLEGT-VPA, according to the EU. This agreement describes a licensing system for timber products exported from Indonesia to EU member states, based on the Timber Legality Certification Scheme (SVLK), the first national timber legality assurance system in the world to be implemented based on FLEGT principles.
In this video, Andrew Wardell leads a discussion with CIFOR experts Paolo Cerutti, Herry Purnomo, Ahmad Derawan and Krystof Obidzinski.