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On May 4th, Indonesia concluded Voluntary Partnership Agreement negotiations with the European Union. This marked the culmination of a long process toward establishing a timber legality verification system in the country and an important milestone for forest governance reform. Negotiations had started in 2004...On the plus side, the lengthy process allowed for extensive consultaions resulting in civil society support for this ambitious new system.
We asked Hugo Schally, Head of Unit on Multilateral Environmental Agreements, Processes and Trade Issues at the European Commission, to describe the significance of this agreement for Indonesia and the rest of the world. He was attending a day-long forum on illegal logging held by Forest Trends on World Bank premises in Washington DC with support from PROFOR and other partners.
Next up, Liberia.