FLEGT & Certification
The TTF’s Responsible Purchasing Policy, requires members to undergo a risk management framework ensuring due diligence on their timber products. Buying from certification sources or a country that is FLEGT-licensed is one way that companies can reduce the risk and demand of buying illegally sourced timber.
FLEGT raises standards across the entire implementing country, whereas voluntary certification schemes raise the standards in the concessional area where the certificate is valid.
However it does not have to be one or the other.
Purchasing and specifying timber that is FLEGT and certification certified is the best way to ensure that timber is legally sourced, benefits local communities and eradicating illegal logging practices.
Combined, FLEGT and certification have a more substantial impact on sustainability for the country, raising the standard for all. Both FLEGT and certification schemes ultimately work towards sustainable forest management, increasingly the supply of responsibly sourced legal timber and working to eradicate illegal logging. FLEGT and the VPA process met around 60-75% of the requirements for FSC.
Uptake of certification in tropical forests is currently around 6.5% coverage compared to the temperate forests at 16.3% and boreal at 22% coverage. Illegal practices, weak governance and land rights disputes are a few of the issues plaguing tropical forest areas. Recognising the importance of a holistic, country-wide law to change forestry practices led to the formation of FLEGT, requiring transformation to all of the principles behind illegal logging.