Letter: can we trust the FSC?
29th September, 2009
Don't be too hard on the EU FLEGT deforestation plan...
Your article ‘Can we trust the FSC’ makes a few points about the EU FLEGT plan to control illegal logging, which can easily be misunderstood by your readers.
The EU FLEGT Action Plan is indeed centred on voluntary bilateral agreements between timber producer countries and the EU. Once these agreements are ratified, they become legally binding.
Whilst countries are not obliged to enter into such agreements, the majority of tropical timber producing countries that export to the EU are now involved in negotiations. The three agreements signed to date with Ghana, Cameroon and Congo include a step by step approach to forest law reform and recognise the rights of local communities to the forest.
We therefore believe that, if well implemented, these agreements will address the real causes of illegal logging, such as corruption and the lack of transparency and clarity about who has the right to the land. If all FLEGT negotiations will lead to a legally binding agreement a very large percentage of illegally sourced timber would not be able to enter the EU anymore.
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