TTF FLEGT Communications Executive LUCY BEDRY · 23 October
Our Conversations about Climate Change competition, exhibition and event series has communicating the FLEGT message at its heart – but what is FLEGT?
Forests and their importance for our survival and the planets cannot be underestimated.
Over two billion people around the globe rely on forests for an array of services – shelter, food, water, livelihoods and fuel security. They are a habitat and home to around 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, providing a source of livelihood for human settlements – including 60 million indigenous people (WWF).
As the world’s second largest store of carbon, after oceans, forests: absorb greenhouse gasses; provide clean water, food and medicine; protect and provide habitats, buffers against natural disasters and watersheds.
“In tropical forests alone, a quarter of a trillion tons of carbon is stored in above and below ground biomass” (WWF)
The EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan to reduce illegal logging – through strengthened sustainable and legal forest management, improving governance and promoting trade in legally produced timber – works in tropical countries across the globe. Recognising the decline of the world’s great tropical forests and the potential for climate change mitigation from keeping these forests standing, FLEGT aims to create partnerships for tropical countries to transform their timber sectors. More information on FLEGT through our FLEGT Explained can be found here
The TTF’s FLEGT Communications, supports efforts to combat illegal logging, strengthen forest governance and encourage sustainable economic development through a greater awareness, education and trade with countries undertaking these changes. By supporting and using sustainable tropical hardwoods, timber producers in countries aspiring towards FLEGT licensing will be able to gain market access, giving them an incentive towards further legal and sustainable reforms in their country.
Conversations about Climate Change presents six installations, all made from tropical hardwoods from countries embarking upon FLEGT-licensing, acting as ‘conversations pieces’ that reflect on our relationship to our natural world.
The EUFLEGT Facility supports the implementation of the EUFLEGT Action Plan with a focus on Voluntary Partnership Agreements. Hosted by the European Forest Institute (EFI), the TTF FLEGT project promote the EUFLEGT Facility platform for information on FLEGT, news, publications, VPAs and FLEGT projects.
More information on FLEGT can be viewed on the EU FLEGT Factsheets below.
Closing the EU market to illegal timber
The EU FLEGT Action Plan aims to combat illegal logging and associated trade through demand- and supply-side measures. The EU is a large market for timber products, importing EUR 18.17 billion worth of wood products in 2017. Of this total, products worth EUR 3.78 billion came from tropical countries.
FLEGT licensed timber
The EU FLEGT Action Plan aims to combat illegal logging and associated trade through demand- and supply-side measures. Products with FLEGT licences automatically meet EU Timber Regulation requirements. To issue FLEGT licences, a country must put in place a system that tracks wood and verifies its legality as it moves from forest to factory to export. FLEGT licensed products comply with laws relating to worker safety, taxation, sustainability, and fair benefits for local communities.
A lack of transparency in a country’s forest sector is among the governance challenges that enable illegal logging to continue. Without transparency, governments lose revenue, communities may lose control over their land, and citizens struggle to participate in decisions about forest resources. The EU FLEGT Action Plan is the EU’s response to the problem of illegal logging. It supports transparency in the forest sector in various ways, including by increasing stakeholder participation, establishing independent audits and making forest sector information public.