News | 16.12.2022
Initialed on October 19 in Abidjan, the FLEGT VPA will help fight illegal logging. It aims to eventually issue "FLEGT permits" for the Ivorian timber trade.
On Wednesday, October 19, 2022, during a ceremony in Noom Plateau, the Minister of Water and Forests, Mr. Laurent TCHAGBA and the Director General of International Partnerships of the European Commission, Mr. Koen DOENS, initialed the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade in Timber and Timber Products (VPA-FLEGT).
Côte d'Ivoire has been engaged since 2013 in the process of negotiating this agreement to fight against illegal logging. The agreement will help improve forest governance, combat illegal logging, support Côte d'Ivoire's efforts in managing its natural resources, and encourage legal timber trade with the European Union.
"This agreement with Côte d'Ivoire is an important step in our efforts to promote sustainable forest management, fight illegal logging and deforestation, and build partnerships with producer countries to ensure that all wood entering the European market is legal," Koen said.
The Minister of Water and Forests was pleased with the initialling and thanked the European Union and all stakeholders for this result. Reaffirming the commitment of the Ivorian government to pursue and finalize all the reforms undertaken for the sustainable management of forests and the improvement of forest governance, Mr. Tchagba invited all the actors to remain mobilized for the conduct of the next deadlines and to combine their efforts for the implementation of the agreement in order to achieve its social, environmental and economic objectives within a reasonable timeframe.
The next step in the agreement for Côte d'Ivoire and the EU will be to sign and then ratify the VPA, thereby making the agreement's commitments legally binding.