Mr Tek Vannara, Executive Director of the NGO FORUM on Cambodia participated in Exchange Program and meeting on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG). In the exchange program and meeting, each country representative reported the progress and challenges of FLEGT implementation, especially focused on implementation of ASEAN FLEGT planned, and discussion with inter-governments and ASEAN secretariat on all stakeholder involvement the whole process of FLEGT such as communities, private sector, development partner, CSO/NGO and government.
The exchange and meeting co-organized by GIZ and ASEAN in Surabaya, Indonesia from 20-22 February 2017. Forest Law Enforcement and Governance and Trade (FLEGT) has emerged as a major policy response by national governments and international organizations seeking to promote sustainable forest management practices. It is also being promoted as a means to arrest forest loss and illegal logging activities; provide a more viable platform for sustainable forest management; capture loss of forest revenues for the government and thus benefit the poor through higher government expenditure; and improved benefit sharing with communities, especially the indigenous people, forest dwellers and forest-dependent communities.
FLEGT has also gained prominence as the roles played by forests in both mitigation and adaptations to climate change are increasing being recognized. In recent years, several ASEAN Member States (AMS) on progress to develop a national system that verify and document timber legality. Indonesia is the first country successfully developed its own system for TLAS/Timber legality assurance system (called SVLK/Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu) and passed the EU’s evaluation for the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade – Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT VPA) in 2013. Since 15 November 2016, Indonesia can apply ‘FLEGT’ licenses to the verified legal timber products Indonesia exports to the EU. It means all Indonesian exports to the EU of the timber product cover by Indonesia’s timber legality system. The Indonesia TLAS is subject to independent monitoring by civil society and periodic evaluation by an independent auditor. The implementation of the FLEGT license means that the Indonesian SVLK meets the requirements of the VPA with the EU.